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.


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.


Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.