clay buchholz

clay buchholz

DEREK JETER'S LAST GAME AND FINAL AT-BAT

2d ago
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Final act: Jeter collects RBI single, then exits Yankees' captain completes career with hit No. 3,465, .310 batting average BOSTON -- It ended on a high chopper to the left side of the infield, and Derek Jeter ran hard down the first-base line, just as he has done countless times before. He reached safely, without a throw, and then motioned to the dugout that it was time to go. The Yankees' captain legged out an infield single in his final at-bat on Sunday afternoon, chopping a 93-mph Clay Buchholz fastball that third baseman Garin Cecchini could not pick out of the air bare-handed in the third inning. It was immediately scored a hit. Ichiro Suzuki scored on the play, giving Jeter an RBI before yielding to pinch-runner Brian McCann. Jeter completes his career with 3,465 hits, sixth all time, and with a lifetime batting average of .310. "It's the end of an era," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game. Jeter nodded to Girardi that he was ready to be removed from the game and hugged McCann at first base. He shook hands with Buchholz near the mound and trotted off the field to thunderous applause, exchanging greetings with third-base coach Rob Thomson, then a procession of teammates out of the dugout that started with Mark Teixeira and Brett Gardner. Doffing his batting helmet near the third-base dugout, Jeter lingered for a few extra moments, soaking in the ovation before descending the dugout steps. His final two hits were of the infield variety this weekend at Fenway Park, going a combined 2-for-4 against the Red Sox after his memorable walk-off single to beat the Orioles on Thursday at Yankee Stadium. After being honored in a pregame ceremony, Jeter stepped in to a standing ovation and lined out to shortstop Jemile Weeks in his first at-bat of the day, batting second as the Yankees' designated hitter. Girardi said that he planned to operate according to Jeter's wishes throughout the afternoon, leaving all of the decisions up to him. Though Jeter appeared to tweak a hamstring while running down the baseline in his final at-bat on Saturday, Jeter left no question that he intended to play on Sunday, telling Girardi that he felt fine. "I asked him what he wanted to do and he said he wanted to play," Girardi said. "I said, 'OK.'" At Jeter's request, the Yankees took on-field batting practice on Sunday. "I asked him if he wanted to hit today," Girardi said. "And he said, 'You know I always want to hit.' So I said, 'We'll hit then.'" Jeter jogged onto the field at 11:13 a.m. ET for a team stretch in left field and began hitting in the cage eight minutes later, a session that was watched on the field by former manager Joe Torre as well as New York sports super-fan Spike Lee. Jeter briefly halted his BP session to walk behind the batting cage and greet Rusney Castillo of the Red Sox; the 27-year-old Cuban outfielder had wanted to meet Jeter. They shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. The retiring captain got an on-field laugh when, at the end of BP, Teixeira and McCann were pitted in a 40-yard dash across the left-field grass to determine the slowest Yankees player. Teixeira beat McCann in the race easily; humorous, considering McCann would run for Jeter a few hours later. It was Jeter's 2,747th regular-season game and also his 153rd game at Fenway Park (regular season and postseason), surpassing Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle for most games played in Boston as a Yankee. Though few would have blamed Jeter if he wanted to make the emotional Yankee Stadium farewell his final game, as Mariano Rivera did last season, Jeter said that he wanted to play this weekend out of respect for the fans and the rivalry with the Red Sox. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. (Source: MLB.com) LET'S BE FRIENDS! http://www.facebook.com/CarlosGilOnline http://www.twitter.com...