Jeter 0-for-7 on long, strange night in Bronx

NEW YORK -- You don't see that often.

In fact, you've never seen that before -- no matter how many of Derek Jeter's 2,625 career games you've watched (plus his 158 postseason games, too).

You've never seen Jeter go 0-for-7, not until a crazy Friday night game that didn't end until early Saturday morning. Not until the longest game the New York Yankees have ever played against the Tampa Bay Rays (or even the Tampa Bay Devil Rays).

Not until a game that ended as a 10-5 Yankees loss in 14 innings, a game that included 38 hits by 17 different players.

None of them by Derek Jeter.

Jeter had gone hitless 596 other times in his career. He'd gone 0-for-1, 0-for-2, 0-for-3, 0-for-4, 0-for-5 and even 0-for-6. But never 0-for-7, not before this game that also included three replay challenges, eight Yankees pitchers, a successful use of a five-man infield, and one of the wildest rundown plays you'll ever see (also including Jeter).

"I don't know, man," Jeter said. "It was just a weird game."

That it was.

It was the 1,000th game as Yankees manager for Joe Girardi, and not one he'll soon forget. He'd like to forget it, after his eighth pitcher (Chris Leroux) allowed the Rays to bat around in the 14th, giving the Yanks a three-game losing streak.

And, no doubt, a headache.

Girardi used 20 of his 24 available players (everyone but his other four starting pitchers). He ran through his entire bullpen, and was left suggesting that the Yankees may need to summon a fresh arm or two for their 1:05 p.m. game with the Rays on Saturday.

They'll all need to summon some energy for that one.

"Hopefully, we'll get 'em tomorrow," Jacoby Ellsbury said, sometime after 1 a.m. "I mean today."

Ellsbury had four hits for the first time as a Yankee, and had his 250th career steal. But he also lost a ball in the twilight in the fourth inning, setting up the Rays to score twice off Vidal Nuno.

That was one inning after Jeter hit a ball to the warning track in right-center, one he thought had a chance to become his first home run of the year. It ended as an out, just like his other six plate appearances did.

Jeter's batting average fell from .271 to .250. He was hitting .294 just a week ago. But it's been a rough week for him and for the Yankees (despite an off day and a rainout).

As for the 0-for-7, Jeter didn't sound too depressed.

"I don't even remember the first four of them," he said. "No one wants to go 0 for ... what?"

Girardi was left to lament the Yankees' inability to make the most of opportunities. They went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and would have lost in regulation without back-to-back home runs from Mark Teixeira and Alfonso Soriano in the eighth inning, and Ellsbury's two-out single in the ninth.

Girardi also lamented the number of pitches his relievers had to throw (182).

"Our bullpen's a mess, no doubt about it," he said.

Jeter is not a mess. He does, however, have one more line to add to his career:


"Funny things happen," he said. "Strange things happen."