The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 9-5 in Boston in Derek Jeter‘s final game in a Yankees uniform. He hit an infield RBI single in the third inning before he took himself out of the game and was replaced at first base by Brian McCann. He said that he wanted to go out after getting a hit and that’s exactly what he did.
It was fitting that his last hit of his career was a single because he had hit 2,594 singles before that in his career. He hit a ball that bounced high off of the plate and had to hustle to get to first. He drove in Ichiro Suzuki for the team’s third run of the game. He hustled to get to first so many times in his career, which makes it make sense that the last time he got on base was as a result of him giving all out effort.
“I told Ichiro to hit a triple, so he hit a triple,” Jeter said. In Jeter’s first at-bat, he hit a hard line drive that Jemile Weeks had to leap to catch and then he was able to drive in his 1,311th run in the third inning. Jeter finished his career with the sixth most RBIs in the storied history of the New York Yankees. Jeter was also able to accumulate 11 seasons with 190 or more hits.
Jeter realizes that some think less of him because of new sabermetric stats, which has led to criticism, but Jeter is happy to be remembered for the team he played for, his hustle, championships and consistency.
“You want to be known as someone who had respect for the game, respect for your teammates, respect for the fans, respect for the media,” Jeter said in his final press conference. “I played the game hard. But for me, I’m happy being known as a Yankee. That is the only think I ever wanted to be – was a shortstop of the New York Yankees. Being remembered as a Yankee is good enough for me.”
The Yankees were also fittingly able to win Jeter final game. It was his 1,629 win as a Yankee. They won since the offense was able to score four runs off of Clay Bucholz and five runs off of reliever Craig Breslow.
Ichiro, in what might have been his last RBIs as a Yankee, tripled to deep center in the third to drive in Jose Pirela and Francisco Cervelli. For the fourth run of the inning, Mark Teixeira hit a sacrifice fly to center to drive in McCann.
In the seventh inning, Breslow allowed five earned runs without recording an out. After Cervelli and Chris Young both singled, Pirela doubled to center to send them both home. Eury Perez singled to left and then John Ryan Murphy singled to center to score Pirela for the seventh run.
Drake Britton came into before Austin Romine hit, but of the runs that he allowed were charged to Breslow. Romine doubled to deep left center to drive in Perez and advance Murphy to third, and then Chase Headley singled to right to score Murphy for the ninth run. In the later innings Joe Girardi had Murphy, Perez, Romine, Antoan Richardson and Brendan Ryan all come into the game.
Michael Pineda gave the Yankees one final dominating start before likely being the number two starter behind Masahiro Tanaka next season. Pineda pitched 6.1 very effective innings, only allowed three hits and one run. He recorded 10 strikeouts, and he retired the side in order in the second, third, fourth and sixth innings. Pineda lowered his ERA to an outstanding 1.89, and he was able to allow two runs or less for his 12th time out of 13 starts.
Pineda’s single to Allen Craig in the seventh would be his only earned run because he would score with Esmil Rogers pitching. Rogers allowed four runs on one hit after the game had basically already been decided.
The Yankees will be losing their captain and that leadership will likely have to come from CC Sabathia, McCann, Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury.
The Yankees unfortunately did not make the playoffs in Jeter’s final season, but he did win five championships and made the playoffs in all but two of his full seasons, and he was able to finish the season with one or more hits in nine of his last 10 games. He finishes his career as the best shortstop of the live-ball era.