(Haven't gotten to see the Jeter home run trot in a while. Courtesy of The AP)
Whether it was a sign that all the talk about Jeter being "this close," "almost there," "looking good at the plate," or "needing to use his lower half more" was real and today was the result of that coming together or whether it was just a flash in the pan is irrelevant. What's important is that the Yankee offense was dominant this afternoon in their 12-5 victory over the Rangers and Derek Jeter was the leader of the offensive barrage.
This was a line straight out Jeter's prime: 4-6, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB. And it was a sign that there might still be some life left in his bat that had looked oh so slow and oh so weak through the first 30 games of the year. After a week where the offense brought very little to the table, to have Jeter step up and have the kind of day he had could be a momentum starter for the rest of the team moving into this week. Jeter came into today's game already 3-9 in the series with a couple runs scored, but tonight was the big break out, and it came on a day where CC wasn't at his sharpest again.
There were other contributors today as well. C-Grand went 3-4 with 3 RBI and his 3rd homer of the weekend, Teix was 2-5 with a 2B, HR, and 2 RBI, Brett Gardner had 3 more hits and 2 more runs scored, and Frankie Cervelli managed to crank a grand slam in the 8th inning to slam the door on any potential Texas comeback. But the story of the day was and will be Jeter, and justifiably so. There hasn't been much to talk about that's been positive when discussing Jeter so far this year, and the endless stream of excuses coming from his coaches was getting a bit tiresome. So even if this was just a one-night thing, it's still nice to heap some praise on The Captain for his throwback performance.
And if he really did turn a corner today and can carry this kind of performance forward, even better.