Updates from Saturday, Sept. 27
Brendan Kuty of NJ.com has an update on Jeter's status for Saturday's game:
Updates from Friday, Sept. 26
Occasionally, a confluence of events leads to a moment that makes you remember why you love to watch sports. That happened on Thursday night in Derek Jeter's final home game at Yankee Stadium.
With the game tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth, Jeter delivered the game-winning hit for the New York Yankees against the Baltimore Orioles, as Antoan Richardson scored from second base to give the Yankees the 6-5 win.
Bleacher Report's Will Carroll believes the conclusion of No. 2's home career couldn't have been more fitting:
The 14-time All-Star said after the game that he had a hard time keeping his emotions in check when he stepped to the plate in the ninth:
Jeter's moment was possible because Yankees closer David Robertson gave up three runs in the top of the ninth, allowing the Orioles to tie the game. ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick made sure to give Robertson the credit he deserved for the thrilling ending:
Jeter finished the game 2-for-5 with three runs batted in and one run scored. He said on MLB Network that he will play against the Boston Red Sox but intimated that he will not play at his usual shortstop position:
The Yankees are mathematically eliminated from the playoff race. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that made Thursday the first time Jeter played at home under such circumstances:
While Jeter might not be the best player in franchise history, he's unquestionably one of the greatest ever to don pinstripes. As noted by ESPN the Magazine's Twitter account, Yankee Stadium was certainly kind to the 40-year-old:
The night nearly turned into a fairy tale way before the ninth. In the bottom of the first inning, with the Yankees down 2-0, Jeter sent a Kevin Gausman fastball into left-center field.
The ball landed mere inches short of going over the fence, and Jeter settled for an RBI double that halved the deficit:
That two-bagger put Jeter ahead of Tony Gwynn on the all-time doubles list, per YES Network researcher Jeff Quagliata:
The hit also reminded ESPN.com's Jayson Stark of a comment made to him by Yankees manager Joe Girardi. That quote proved prophetic later:
Jeter moved to third on a wild pitch and came around to score after Brian McCann reached first on a throwing error from Kelly Johnson, tying the game.
In the bottom of the seventh, Jeter gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead. He grounded the ball to Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, who threw the ball into the outfield. Although Jeter wasn't given credit for a hit, he picked up his second RBI of the night.
As noted by Grantland's Ben Lindbergh, Sabermetricians have long criticized Jeter's defense, and both Tom Fornelli of CBSSports.com and Joe Sheehan of Sports Illustrated found it appropriate that No. 2 would reach first base on an error in his last plate appearance at home:
That looked like it would be the last at-bat for Jeter in Yankee Stadium, but Robertson's blown save opened the door for one last Jeter walk-off.
The home crowd took every opportunity it could to salute the retiring star, in particular making the most of the traditional roll call early in the game. It was the last time Jeter will tip his cap to the Yankee faithful.
Random chants of "Derek Jeter" cropped up throughout the game. That made for some entertaining audio when Yankees fans were caught between honoring Jeter and voicing their opposition to a call by the home plate umpire, per CBS Sports' Eye on Baseball:
During his career, Jeter's always been considered a stoic player. For most of the game, he remained stone-faced and deferential.
However, around the eighth inning, it looked to have finally sunk in that this was in fact his last game at Yankee Stadium.
Eric Fisher of Sports Business Journal noted that Jeter looked to be holding back tears:
Thursday night was truly the end of an era. Jeter's farewell tour has been a bit overwrought at times, but there's no question that baseball is watching one of its biggest stars walk away from the game.
And never again will you see Jeter in Yankees pinstripes.
New York wraps up the 2014 regular season with three games in Boston.