Captain Catches Injury Bug
After being swept by the Red Sox at home, the Yankees then won three of four against the struggling Cleveland Indians in the Bronx. However, this series win does not feel so sweet. First off, they never feel good when you lose the final game - especially in a game where you get shut out 1-0. So although the other games were "fun," the finale left a bad taste in my mouth.
Oh, and it didn't help that Derek Jeter got hurt.
Just six hits away from the historic #3,000, Jeter made an early exit from last night's loss, having suffered a Grade 1 strain of his right calf.
This could be a big loss for the Yanks. He is listed as day-to-day as of now, but I don't know what I believe about that. I mean, if he's "day-to-day," he'll most likely miss this entire upcoming series at home against the Rangers. So then the Yankees go on the road, and no one wants to see him hit 3,000 at Wrigley Field. It would be more appropriate for Jeter to make history in the Bronx. So if he is not going to be better by, say tomorrow night, maybe the Yankees should just DL him. It will be a safe move: he will be well-rested and will not be rushed to recover, and it will make the chances of the big hit happening in the Bronx even greater.
No offense or anything: I love Jeter and I can't wait for the milestone, but it's not like DL-ing him will be the worst thing in the world for the Yankees. He hasn't exactly been tearing the cover off the baseball this year. His average his at .260 and he has 20 RBI so far this year, but he's only hitting .239 in June.
I find it interesting that Jeter, Captain Clutch, is not very clutch this year. He is hitting .344 when leading off an inning this year. But his average progressively drops when the tension builds: with runners on, Jeet hits .229, and with runners in scoring position, he is hitting for a dreadful average of .179.
I don't mean to sound like I'm picking on Jeter, because I'm really not. I actually just noticed those stats as I was writing this, and thought they would be interesting to share. Jeter is not the only Yankee not hitting with runners in scoring position. As a team last night, the Yanks were 0-7 in those clutch situations.
All I'm saying is that maybe a break would be good for Jeter. I don't know exactly how serious his injury is, but why should he rush back? Especially since they're going on the road. Losing Derek Jeter for around 15 days is not the worst thing for the Yankees - they have way bigger problems with the injuries to Russell Martin, Joba Chamberlain, and Bartolo Colon. Losing Jeter is probably the most disheartening thing for the fans, although I care more about Bartolo Colon right now.
Anyone who has seen him knows how important Bartolo Colon is for this Yankees team. After the whole "not getting Cliff Lee" thing, Yankee fans had no choice but to embrace Colon and just hope for the best. Colon has been a blessing for the Yankees this year, and everyone says he looks like the Bartolo Colon of 2005 again – the Cy Young year. He is 5-3 with a sparkling 3.12 ERA for the Yanks. He throws a blazing yet controlled fastball frequently, and hitters can’t touch him. And his consistency is what really makes me like him. To me, at this point in the season, Bartolo Colon is the Yankees’ best pitcher. Hey, as of now, he’s also better than that Cliff Lee guy, whose ERA is 3.41.
Colon is my #1 right now, and losing a #1 is tough. What’s tougher than losing a #1 is replacing a #1. It can’t be done. So now, everyone moves up, and everyone’s starts become a little more important. It is comforting that the two starts following Colon’s injury, by Freddy Garcia and A.J. Burnett, have been dominant performances. Colon swears that he will be back in 15 days, and at this point, Yankee fans can only hope so.
If the Yankees can hang in there without their top starter in Colon, their All-Star vote leading catcher Russell Martin, their key bullpen piece Joba Chamberlain, AND their Captain, I would think this team could do anything.
But those are very big “ifs.”
Good luck, my Yankees.
by Virginia Califano.
Questions? Comments? Contact Virginia at email@example.com