The “Captain” Derek Jeter collected three hits in the Yankees 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the final game of their four-game series at Yankee Stadium [which was swept by the Yanks], that tied the Yankees first “Captain”, Hall of Famer, Lou Gehrig, on top of the New York Yankees all-time hit list with 2,721 hits.
Jeter led off the game with a surprise bunt single on the first pitch by Rays starting pitcher Jeff Niemann that ended the captain’s 0-12 hitless streak.
In the third inning Jeter grounded out to short.
In the fifth inning Derek blasted a shot to straight away centerfield that sailed over the head of B.J. Upton before taking a bounce over the wall for a grounds-rule double.
And, finally, in the bottom of the seventh Jeter stroked a two-out, first pitch, single, past first base down the right field line for his Gehrig tying 2,721th hit.
In the meantime, as this game headed into the eight inning, the Yankees were losing 2-0 to the Rays.
Without doubt, Jeter was happy that he had tied the “Great” Lou Gehrig’s all-time hit record; but, I’m sure Derek would be the first one to tell anybody: a Yankees loss would certainly take the shine off this outstanding accomplishment.
The Yankees had this in mind also, and, once again, provided some late-inning dramatics by first scoring a run in the eight that made the score 2-1, before Jorge Posada hit a solid line drive, one-out, three-run homer, off reliever Grant Balfour, into the lower right-field porch that moved the Bronx Bombers into a 4-2 lead.
Posada’s 21st homer kept the inning going; and, after Melky Cabrera made the second out, Derek Jeter had one more chance to travel past Gehrig’s hit record in this game.
Jeter had a couple of good cuts at the plate, but was walked on a 3-2 count by Balfour.
So, Derek would remain tied with Lou Gehrig until at least Friday night, September 11th, when the Yankees start a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at The Stadium.
The Yankees took their 4-2 lead into the top of the ninth inning; and, in a game that the “Joba Rules” once again limited Joba Chamberlain to only three innings on the mound, [in which he allowed both Tampa Bay runs in the first inning], the Yankees relievers: Alfredo Aceves, Jonathan Albaladejo (5-1), Brian Bruney, and Phil Coke, held the Rays hitless from the fourth inning on, with Coke earning his second save by closing out this win on a final out strikeout.
On this historic night that Derek Jeter tied the “Iron Horse”, Lou Gehrig’s all-time hit record, the Yankees 4-2 victory which completed a four-game sweep over the Tampa Bay Rays, made this special accomplishment even more “special”.
In Mike Puma’s New York Post article, Derek Jeter expressed his feelings on tying Lou Gehrig’s record:
“I was a Yankee fan growing up and to come up through this organization and what [Gehrig] stood for, being the captain, he’s probably one of the classiest people ever to play the game” … “To be alongside him, pretty much anything you can do to have your name next to his is quite an accomplishment” …
“We had so many special moments across the street”, Jeter said … “This is hopefully the first of many memorable moments here at the new Stadium. The fans have been tremendous and it’s just a lot of fun.”
— photo credits:
* google images
* photos. nj. com/star-ledger/2009/09/derek_jeter
* http:// yankeeology. com/yankeefans
— Jimmy, “BY&L”