Derek Jeter played in his final game at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, so naturally he delivered the game-winning hit.
After the Baltimore Orioles tied the game in the top of the ninth inning via a two-run home run by Adam Jones and a solo shot by Steve Pearce, there was never any other possible outcome with Jeter due up third in the bottom half of the inning.
Jose Pirela led off with a single, and was pinch run for by Antoan Richardson. Brett Gardner laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving Richardson up to second base. In typical Derek Jeter fashion, he took the first pitch he saw from Oriole reliever Evan Meek to right field for a single, bringing home Richardson with the winning run.
Sometimes things just have a way of working out perfectly. There’s no need to ask questions or hunt for explanations. What happened Thursday night at Yankee Stadium was one of those instances.
The Yankees have three games remaining in the season, against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The chances of Jeter not playing in any of them are probably pretty slim. However, there may not be a more storybook way to end a career short of going out after a championship than this moment, if Derek Jeter wants to take it. We know he won’t.