Although the size of the crowd, 35,614, on a cool Monday evening was not as the large as the sell-outs of the previous two days, the support of the crowd for Derek Jeter remained the same. The Yankee captain received standing ovations upon each of his four trips to the plate. As on Sunday afternoon’s game, his name was chanted by those in the stands throughout the top of the ninth as they were also waiting to celebrate a Yankee win.
Jeter expressed the appreciation he feels for the backing of the fans after the game concluded, “It’s been an awesome experience. It’s what I’ll remember most.”
In his first at bat, Jeter connected on the first pitch and drove the ball to the warning track in right, where it was caught by Nick Markakis. The fans reacted with the expectation and excitement of an extra-base hit as the ball was solidly hit.
In the third, with a runner on third, the veteran batter did what was necessary. He grounded out to short, but drove in the runner. The runner who scored was Jose Pirela, who was making his MLB debut. The Venezuelan drove the first big league pitch he faced into deep center for a triple.
Two innings later, Jeter came to the plate with two out and runners, Pirela, who had singled, and Brett Gardner, who had drawn a walk, on base. On a 3-2 count, Jeter lined a double down the line into left, which scored Pirela and Gardner. The hit extended Jeter’s consecutive game hitting streak to six.
The three runs driven in were the most by Jeter in a single game since September 9, 2012, also against Baltimore. They were also a major contributing factor to the 5-0 win over Baltimore. As is his way, Jeter spoke with high praise for Pirela, making his debut in the majors with two big hits, and for Michael Pineda, who limited the Orioles to one hit in 7.1 innings rather than focusing on his important performance.
Being driven home twice by Jeter in his first game in the majors was a special experience for the 25 year-old Pirela, “I feel so blessed. For me, it was something very big. He is one of the greatest players ever, but for the short time I’ve been here, he seems to be a very humble person.”
In Jeter’s final at bat in the contest, in the seventh, he walked on a 3-2 pitch, an at bat that lasted nine pitches.
As the end of his days as a major league player come close, Jeter has not let down. He tries his best to do as well as he can and lead his team to a victory every day. He is batting .450 (9 for 20) during the first five games of the team’s final homestand of eight contests. The Yankees have been victorious in four of the five games.
Yankee manager Joe Girardi said of Jeter’s performance on Monday, “He’s swinging the bat great, an outstanding job again.” There are many qualities that Girardi believes earn Jeter so much respect, “To never hear a bad word about a person, the way he plays the game, how he fights to win, he does things the right way.”