There was a ballgame Thursday, although few Yankee beat writers, this one included, saw much of it because of the lengthy Brian Cashman conference call that ate up the fifth inning, and the scramble to get the Masahiro Tanaka news out on our various media platforms as quickly and accurately as possible.
As a result, many of us missed what might have been a key play in the game, which happened in the seventh inning when Matt Thornton deflected a Jason Kipnis grounder that was headed toward Derek Jeter and might have turned into a bases-clearing double play. However, the ball caromed in the opposite direction and became an infield hit, leading to Asdrubal Cabrera's bases-loaded triple and a four-run Cleveland inning.
"It’s reaction, but if you could think real quick you’d say, ‘Matt Thornton, get out of the way,'" Girardi said. "Then you’ve got a double-play ball. It changes the complexion of the game. It changes who we use. It just changes everything."
Instead, everything went straight to hell, culminating in Cleveland's five-run, two-home run eighth inning off Jim Miller that put the game out of reach.
In the wake of the news that Tanaka will miss at least six weeks, and its implications for the Yankees, none of that seemed to matter all that much tonight.
Jeter OK: Of course he is. The Captain got hit on the heel of his left hand with a scorcher off the bat of Michael Brantley in the eighth, but in customary Jeter fashion, he shrugged it off after the game.
"It's fine," he said. "You know that." Of course.
Jeter, incidentally, will take fond memories of Progressive Field into retirement. Besides being the site of his first big league home run in 1996, when it was called Jacobs Field, Jeter's career numbers here were impressive: In 70 games, he hit .354 (102-for-288) with five homers, 17 doubles, a triple, 35 RBIs, 11 stolen bases, 50 runs scored and an .895 OPS. Plus, they sent him home with a Lego sculpture of himself hitting that home run, and a custom-painted pinstriped Gibson Les Paul, which he said he will learn how to play. "I'll have plenty of time to work on it," he said.