Joe Girardi was asked last night if he felt any pressure, with a home series coming up, to sit Derek Jeter in tonight's series finale in Cleveland, now that he's one big game away from his 3,000th hit. He said he didn't feel that way, but did hint that he might sit Jeter anyway to give him a rest. (Said Girardi: "He's played four days in a row. We have [tonight] and then we have another four ... I'll sleep on it and talk to him.") It struck us as an odd question: Yes, Jeter could get four hits tonight, but it's not very likely. Instead, it's more likely he'll reach the milestone during the Yankees' four-game homestand, and collecting a hit or three tonight would only increase the odds of that happening.
Looking at this solely in terms of trying to get Jeter his 3,000th hit at home — which isn't necessarily how Girardi should approach this, anyway — sitting him tonight didn't make sense. If they'd did, Jeter would need to get four hits in four games — pretty much his usual rate, but no sure thing, either — this weekend.
But no need to worry about that now — or think about the potentially awkward press conference Girardi would face on Sunday if he sat Jeter tonight and he still didn't get to 3,000 over the weekend. Jeter will indeed play tonight, according to Brian Cashman, who spoke with Girardi this morning — and they're not pretending it has nothing to do with Jeter's pursuit of 3,000 hits. "Joe was wrestling with a lot of things, whether to rest him, or whether it would be better to play him and help him get this over with." Surely, the chance for Jeter to "get this over with" at Yankee Stadium didn't hurt, either.