Derek Jeter isn’t the emotional type but the Yankees are so desperate to get going offensively that when he stole second with nobody out in the sixth, he demonstrably motioned he was safe.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, Jeter remained 180 feet away and though there were some threats by the offense against David Price, nothing materialized at the plate in a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay.
Tuesday marked the 10th anniversary of Jeter’s famous diving catch into the stands against the Red Sox. The Yankees were 50-26 after Jeter’s catch eventually helped the Yankees win in extra innings.
It’s a record the Yankees don’t seem capable of attaining now. The Yankees stranded eight baserunners and went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position Tuesday.
Jeter had two of the four hits, getting a double in the fourth and a single in the sixth. He scored in the fourth when shortstop Ben Zobrist’s throw hit Jacoby Ellsbury in the back during a rundown that was it.
Ellsbury struck out following Jeter’s sixth-inning steal. After Mark Teixeira walked, Carlos Beltran flied out and Alfonso Soriano struck out.
“You got to find a way to get him over, get him in and someone come up with a big hit,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I know you’re facing a very good pitcher and it’s not an easy at-bat but we weren’t able to do it.”
The Yankees struck out 11 times and seemed to take issue with Alfonso Marquez’s strike zone at times.
It was a night where various players saw slumps continue, including Brian McCann, who struck out as a pinch hitter in the ninth. McCann is in a 7-for-38 slump since his five-RBI game two weeks ago against Toronto.
Teixeira’s slump reached 2-for-16 with a pair of fly outs and a ground out. Beltran’s skid reached 5-for-27 with a strikeout and two fly outs and Alfonso Soriano’s slide reached 4-for-24 with two strikeouts and a lineout.
“As a team you have some stretches where you play and you have some stretches where you don’t play well,” Beltran said.
“I never feel hopeless. That I don’t feel,” Girardi said. “There’s too many other things in life that can give you that feeling so I don’t feel helpless. The guys that we have, have to get it done and that’s the bottom line. As I said it’s not just a couple of guys struggling, it’s a number of guys.”
The Yankees are 41-41 and continue a daily wait for consistent offense. Granted Price is a difficult opponent for many but he proved even more challenging for many members of a lineup with a collective .251 batting average and one that is below .230 for the last 10 games.
“These are the guys that we have and these are the guys that have to get it done on a nightly basis,” Girardi said. “Nobody’s going to feel sorry for you and nobody has the magic potion. You just have to go and grind it out.”
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.