New York Yankees
We all know by now that Derek Jeter doesn't like to take days off. We learned on Sunday that he doesn't like to talk about them, either.
Jeter tied a career-high with five RBIs against Toronto, smacking a three-run homer in the third to help get him there. So it was only natural to ask Jeter after the game if he felt refreshed Sunday after getting the day off on Saturday.
But Jeter got a bit testy when a reporter brought up the subject.
"Let's not start this day off, refresh thing, seriously," a clearly annoyed Jeter said. ".... I've been swinging the bat [well] since I've come back from being hurt and I'm pretty sure that during the course of that, I've gotten some hits in .. three days in a row, four days in a row, five days in a row. So let's not start this."
Point taken, Derek. But the numbers are hard to ignore.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jeter is hitting .351 in 23 games following an off day (including games following a DL stint and after a team off day).
In the game following his last five scheduled (non injury-related) days off, Jeter is hitting .350 with seven RBIs and one homer.
"I'm sure I've gotten hits when I've played back-to-back too so I think it's a coincidence," Jeter said.
Since July 17, Jeter has gotten five scheduled days off. In that span, he's had hits in two consecutive games 19 times.
Girardi wanted to give Jeter a day off Saturday as part of his plan to rest one of his regular players per day as the Yankees approach a tough finish to the regular season.
Jeter responded Sunday by drilling a three-run homer to left in the third off of Toronto starter Brett Cecil. He then added a two-run single up the middle off of Jays reliever Rommie Lewis in the eighth. The home run snapped a 136 at-bat homerless streak and the five RBIs tied a career high set four times, most recently on June 18, 2005 against the Cubs.
Jeter admitted after the game that he's having more fun now than in mid June, when he went on the DL batting a soft .260. The 37-year-old short stop is batting .346 with 11 doubles, three triples, three homers and 34 RBIs since returning from the DL in early July.
So what's behind his recent success at the plate?
"Days off," Jeter deadpanned.