Let’s face it. Robinson Cano cannot do everything. It just seems as if he can. The second baseman, who has been all-everything for the Yankees this season, got to watch his keystone mate Derek Jeter take control Friday night. Jeter had a shot at the cycle, except that the Yankees’ two-run rally in the seventh, which he himself fueled, robbed him of one more at-bat because there was no bottom of the ninth.
The Yankees rebounded from 3-0 and 4-2 deficits behind Jeter, who tied the score with a two-run home run off Freddy Garcia in the fifth and put them ahead with a two-run triple off lefthander Matt Thornton in the seventh on the way to a 6-4 victory over the White Sox. As he was often in 2009 when he had a 10-1 record, Alfredo Aceves, who pitched the top of the seventh, was in position for the winning decision and is now 2-0.
Jeter singled and scored in the first, so a double was needed for him to get the cycle, but another at-bat was out of the question when the Yankees failed to get to his spot in the order in the eighth. Jeter, with 18 RBI in 22 games as a leadoff hitter, is up to .330, which still puts him 70 points behind Cano, who had 1-for-4.
“I try to keep the same approach with each at-bat, to try and get a hit,” said Jeter, who subscribes to what is known in baseball parlance as the KISS method, as in “Keep it simple, stupid.”
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is enamored with Jeter, saying after the game, “He is God. He’s God all the time. It’s fun to watch him play the game. He’s the number one ambassador in this game. I mean, God bless him.”
Alex Rodriguez’s first hit in 20 at-bats was a double scoring Jeter in the first. The Yankees closed to 3-2 later in the inning and had a shot at tying the score, but A-Rod got a late read from third base on the play by first baseman Paul Konerko, who fielded a grounder by Nick Swisher near the bag, tagged first and threw to second where Cano was caught for the third out of the inning.
Once Konerko touched the bag, the force was removed and Cano had to be tagged at second for a double play. Had A-Rod broken for the plate, he might have scored before Cano got caught. Since Konerko is right-handed, once he turned his back it should have let A-Rod know he was going to second. It would have been close, probably bang-bang for the umpires.
It was another hitless night for Mark Teixeira, who did walk twice and closed out April hitting .136. He will be glad to change the calendar. Teixeira is a .235 career hitter in March/April and a .297 career hitter in the other months.