Derek Jeter’s hit total rising as Yankees falling

Jeter led off the game with a double - his 2,998th career hit.

It seemed possible that Derek Jeter might actually get the three hits necessary for 3,000 on Thursday night.

On the first pitch he saw in his 2,361th career game, the Yankee captain roped a double to center field for hit 2,998.

“You think about it because everywhere you go there are signs and people are mentioning it,” Jeter said. “But I’d be lying to you if I thought it wasn’t attainable [tonight].”

That moment was fleeting though as Jeter could not push forward to the 3,000-hit milestone and was unable to deliver what the fans giving the Yankee captain thunderous ovations were anticipating while witnessing a 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

var params = {wmode: ‘opaque’}; addPlayer(’06c7c348-13be-4bf5-b1f0-8f1e92cfcb4c’, ”, 13191, ‘zoken3lubvvk1fy20obmge9zx’, true, false, ‘zoken3lubvvk1fy20obmge9zx’, ‘eplayer2′);

The 3,000th hit will have to wait at least until Friday night against Jeremy Hellickson. On Saturday he will face All-Star David Price. If it doesn’t happen at those junctures, the final chance before the All-Star break would be Sunday against James Shields.

“He got one and you know he’s probably going to get three more at-bats and it’s a possibility,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “But we’ll have to wait another day.”

Jeter saw 12 pitches in his four at-bats against Jeff Niemann, the same starter he had three hits off two years ago to tie Lou Gehrig’s team record. Jeter could not breakthrough this time with his third three-hit game of the year and first in nearly two months.

Niemann retired Jeter on three grounders, including two to third baseman Sean Rodriguez. The closest Jeter was to a hit occurred in the fifth as Tampa Bay’s infield played back after Jeter showed bunt on the first pitch.

After laying off a curveball, Jeter hit a fastball in Rodriguez’s direction. As Rodriguez ranged and spun to his left towards the foul line, Jeter raced out of the box but could not beat the throw.

“We were joking around on the bench that I put three balls a year down the third base line and he caught one,” Jeter said. “It’s unfortunate but I thought it was going to be by him at first.”

“He’s an athletic kid that can play all over the diamond,” Girardi said of Rodriguez. “He probably took one away from him tonight; he made a good play when he had to range to his right and dove. It’s unfortunate.”

In his next at-bat — with two outs and one on in the seventh — Jeter saw seven pitches and fouled off three straight. He would groundout to shortstop Reid Brignac.

Jeter’s spot came up for the final time with two outs in the ninth after Brett Gardner reached on a wild pitch. Facing ex-Yankee Kyle Farnsworth, Jeter saw four pitches before hitting his third grounder of the game to third base for the final out.

“You don’t see that often, a strikeout then a wild pitch,” Jeter said. “I had another opportunity but more importantly than just another opportunity, you’re trying to extend the game and it didn’t happen tonight.”

Whenever Jeter reaches 3,000 hits, he will become the sixth to reach it in 17 seasons or fewer. The others are Pete Rose, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb and Paul Waner. He also will join Honus Wagner and Cal Ripken Jr. as the third member to join the club playing primarily at shortstop.

Overlooked due to Jeter’s quest, Niemann pitched a terrific game. Niemann allowed just a Robinson Cano home run and six hits overall before exiting with one out in the eighth.

While there is no certainty on the date of Jeter’s hit, attending it will be costly for those without tickets. At the final pitch, the average ticket price according to the ticketing website started at 88 dollars with ticketing fees and roughly an hour afterwards the price rose to 105 dollars.

“It’s inevitable,” Nick Swisher said. “It’s going to happen and I can’t wait for it.”

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @larryfleisher.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.