The Yankees beat the Rays 8-4 yesterday at the Stadium and won the season series against Tamps, 11-7. Carl Pavano left the game early with a hip injury and Robinson Cano was yanked in the middle of the game for not hustling after a ball. The Red Sox were in the unlikely position to be rooting for the Yanks this weekend, and both teams helped each other out: the Sox trail the Rays by just one game and the Yankees edge closer to the Blue Jays, who are currently in third place.
Mariano Rivera faced one batter, struck him out, and tied Lee Smith for second-place on the all-times save list with 478.
Alex Rodriguez hit a first-inning grand slam, the 17th of his career. He also had a bloop double in the eighth, his 33rd of the season, his best mark in pinstripes. Rodriguez scored his 101st run and knocked in his 100th RBI. He's scored 100 or more runs for 13 straight years and has driven in 100 or more runs in 11 consecutive seasons. How about this for consistency: Rodriguez has 1602 runs scored in his career, 1603 RBI.
Jason Giambi hit his 30th homer of the year. In five of his seven years as a Yankee, Giambi has hit 30 or more dingers.
As you may have heard, Derek Jeter passed Lou Gehrig's mark for hits at Yankee Stadium. Jeter had a wondeful weekend, smacking three hits in each game. He saved the best for yesterday, adding a home run to the bleachers in right-center field. With the season fading away, it's no surprise that the announcing crew on YES made a big deal about Jeter catching the Iron Horse. That's understanable and I can appreciate it, even if it was much at times. However, one thing they didn't provide us is context. I would like to know, for instance, how many games and at bats it took Gehrig to reach the mark and compare that with Jeter's figures. Moreover, I'd like to see how many home runs and doubles figure into the mix as well. It's no knock on Jeter if he's not nearly the hitter Gehrig was, Jeter is a great player and a future Hall of Famer. Still, I would have liked to see more context.
Let's face it, the Yankee announcers, some newspapermen, and a lot of fans are not rational when it comes to all things Jeter. Again, I find it annoying at times, but I get it. And I do love Jeter too. But he doesn't need to be puffed up constantly. When Jeter hit into a sharp 5-4-3 double play in his final at bat yesterday, Paul O'Neill mentioned that Jeter never hits into double plays. Well, actually, that was the 23rd double play Jeter hit into this season, a career-high (beating his previous career high of 21, set last year).
Oh, and one last number. The Yanks "tragic" number. It's down to 5.