NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Derek Jeter admits reaching 3,000 hits is constantly on his mind. It’s unavoidable with everyone talking about it. And he also knows there are only four games left on the Yankees’ current homestand before they head out for a six-game road trip.
Jeter had a pair of RBI singles against the Indians to get within seven of the milestone Sunday.
Now the race is on to do it at home.
“I’d be lying to you if I told you I haven’t been thinking about it,” Jeter, who’s hitting .359 in his last 15 games against Cleveland, said of the approaching milestone. “It’s impossible for that not to be in your head, because I’m around that all the time.”
Sometime in the next week or so, Derek Jeter will hold up his right hand to ask the plate umpire for time, give his bat one more ritualistic twirl and then, perhaps take an iconic inside-out swing and send another liner to right field to become the 28th player — and first in four years — to reach the magic number.
“I mean, yeah, I’d love to do it here,” said Jeter. “But all I can control is having good at-bats and hitting the ball hard and hopefully find some holes. We have a few more left, so we’ll see what happens.”
“I think the way he’s gone about his business, with consistency and just as a professional, being just stubborn enough to be great. He’s been a joy to watch,” Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson said. “He’s everybody’s favorite player.”
Major League Baseball plans to have a representative in attendance when Jeter reaches the mark, and at least a dozen licenses for gear commemorating the event will be issued. Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation is marking the occasion with DJ3K bracelets, and the Hall of Fame has talked to him about acquiring game-used mementoes from the day.
“I hope he gets on a roll and does it at home,” catcher Jorge Posada said. “I really want him to do it here.”
“Three thousand hits is pretty good,” Yankees great Yogi Berra said in an e-mail. “But I think Jeter cares more about winning than the other stuff.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi is doing everything he can to keep Jeter in the lineup before he club begins a road trip to Chicago and Cincinnati on June 17.
“I think Jete will be happy when it’s over with, and we’re all excited that he’s getting really close,” said first baseman Mark Teixeira. “We’d love to have him get it done here. And I know the fans at the Stadium, whatever day it happens, would love that as well.”
Jeter will try to claw closer to the milestone against the Indians on Monday.
New York will face Carlos Carrasco (5-3, 4.52) for the first time. The 24-year-old right-hander gave up three hits over a career-high 8 1-3 innings in Cleveland’s 1-0 win over Minnesota on Tuesday.
“It was a great performance by Carlos,” catcher Lou Marson said. “He’s going to be really, really good one day.”
He’s already been really good on the road. Carrasco is 3-0 with a 3.48 ERA in six starts away from Progressive Field, boosted by an average of 8.02 runs of support.
After the Indians, only the Texas Rangers will stand in Jeter’s way — to reach the milestone in the Bronx, that is.
Will Jeter get it done at Yankee Stadium? Sound off in the comments below…
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