MILWAUKEE -- There were more than a few anxious moments in Friday night's 5-3 Yankees win over the high-flying Brewers, but none more anxiety-provoking than in the bottom of the sixth inning, when a fan ran onto the field at Miller Park and headed straight for Derek Jeter.
Considering the kind of catastrophes and near-catastrophes that have occurred in fan-celebrity confrontations, from John Lennon and Mark David Chapman to Alex Rodriguez and Grim LeRogue, it felt as if everyone in the ballpark was having the same thought as Yankees manager Joe Girardi: "I was like, 'Derek, move.'"
But as usual, Jeter was the coolest person in the park, standing rock-still as the man approached him, stopping no more than three feet away.
"He was saying he wanted a hug," Jeter said. "I was thinking I wasn’t going to hug him. If you saw his face, it wasn’t like he was coming out there angry. So no, it wasn’t scary.”
In fact, Jeter tried to help the guy, telling him, "You're going to get in trouble, man," and then, "Look out!" -- just as a pair of security guards wiped the unidentified man out from behind.
Asked why he allowed the man to get so close, Jeter said, "He was slowing down, though. Then I sort of stepped back because I saw them going to get him. I didn't want them to get me, too."
Masahiro Tanaka, who had a good look at the whole thing from the pitcher's mound, laughed when his interpreter translated the English question, "What were you thinking when you saw it?" But his answer was a non-committal, "I didn't think too much about it."
However, here's what Tanaka said to the Japanese media: "I think that may have changed his life a little bit."
Tanaka meant the fan, not Jeter -- nothing much ever seems to affect him one way or another.
Hiro says Yu the best Tanaka earned his fifth win against no losses with his 6 1/3 innings of two-run, seven-hit ball and has not lost a regular-season game since Aug. 19, 2012, going 33-0 during that span. But when asked about the Rangers' Yu Darvish, who came within an out of no-hitting the Red Sox on Friday, even the unflappable Tanaka was impressed. "I will never be able to pitch the way he pitches,” Tanaka said.
Pain in the back end of the bullpen: Shawn Kelley was unavailable because of some stiffness in his lower back, a problem he said he has been experiencing for a few days. Kelley said the pain worsened after the flight from Anaheim, so he was sent for an MRI which, much to his relief, ruled out any disk problems. "There wasn't anything substantial there," Kelley said. "So now we'll just take it day by day."