Captain's Log: Derek Jeter's career against the Detroit Tigers
The 2014 season will be Derek Jeter's last, the culmination of 20 years of dominance in Major League Baseball. With his pending retirement announced, Jeter will make his final visits to 18 ballparks this year and also play in his final game at Yankee Stadium; he has already played in his final All-Star Game and, if all goes well, will make his last postseason appearance as well.
Throughout the season, as Jeter makes his final stop in each opposing city, the YESNetwork.com staff will take a look back at just how well the surefire Hall of Famer has done at every locale - and with the Yankees headed to Detroit this week, we take a look at how Jeter has matched up with the Tigers over the last two decades.
Those who only know recent Derek Jeter history probably best remember Detroit as the place where an injured Jeter watched what is still his team's last playoff game end, the Yankees swept out of the ALCS after three games after a broken ankle officially ended his own 2012 season. But in truth, whether it was Tiger Stadium or Comerica Park, Detroit's yard has always been the Kalamazoo, Michigan-bred Captain's "other" hometown park, and despite a couple of playoff heartbreaks, it has been a baseball mecca for Jeter on the whole.
Barring another Yankees-Tigers playoff matchup, Jeter will drive out of the Motor City as a Yankee for the final time this week; the Yankees play their lone three-game set in Detroit Tuesday through Thursday, and in honor of The Captain's farewell, we look back at just how big a hit Motown has been for Jeter throughout his career.
Derek Jeter's career line vs. Tigers (142 games/661 plate appearances):
.325 average (188-for-579), 12 HR, 75 RBI, 65 BB, 91 K, 18 SB, 113 R, .843 OPS
Jeter's career line in Detroit (68 games/317 plate appearances):
.290 average (82-for-286), 6 HR, 34 RBI, 22 BB, 42 K, 4 SB, 45 R, .772 OPS
Jeter's career line in Detroit broken down by stadium name:
-Tiger Stadium (1996-1999; 22 games/99 plate appearances): .360 average (31-for-86), 2 HR, 11 RBI, 9 BB, 16 K, 1 SB, 19 R, .975 OPS
-Comerica Park (2000-present; 46 games/218 plate appearances): .260 average (52-for-200), 4 HR, 23 RBI, 13 BB, 26 K, 3 SB, 26 R, .670 OPS
And now, two memorable Jeter Moments from Detroit:
No. 1: Playoffs or bust?
It was actually bust for the Yankees, who missed the postseason in 2008 for the first time in 14 seasons, but it wasn't for a lack of trying from The Captain - and on Sept. 1, he had a Jeter-esque performance on a day the Yankees needed one. After going 2-for-8 in a pair of games in Motown in April, Jeter and the Yanks returned on the first day of the last month to make up the third scheduled game of the series…and The Captain went off, going 2-for-3 with three walks, two RBI, and three runs scored in what ended a 13-9 Yankees win. That kicked off a 16-9 September that kept the Yankees within striking distance of a wild card, but October just wasn't in the cards that year.
No. 2: Stayin' alive
The Yankees had lost two straight nail-biters in Games 2 and 3 of the 2011 ALDS, and they went into Game 4 in danger of being eliminated in Detroit. That wasn't going to happen if The Captain had anything to say about it, and speak he did; the Yankees ended up winning a 10-1 laugher to send the series back to the Bronx for its thrilling conclusion, but when Jeter rapped a two-run double in the third off a dominant-looking Rick Porcello, he broke open a scoreless game and gave the Yankees and their fans new life. Jeter finished the game just 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored, but his one contribution was the big one that got it started.