After 20 years of playing for the Yankees, Derek Jeter still has some tricks up his sleeves. And he produced a teaching moment for Indians 2B Jason Kipnis during Monday night’s Indians-Yankees game.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Yankees were clinging to a 5-3 lead, but the Indians were threatening after a lead-off home run by C Yan Gomes off David Huff.
Setup man Dellin Betances came in to replace the rattled Huff, and after an error put Kipnis on first base, Cleveland suddenly had momentum. Asdrubal Cabrera stepped up to the plate and popped a 96-mph fastball up. Third baseman Zelous Wheeler caught it in foul territory—but Kipnis, who was on first base, never looked and wasn’t aware that he had caught it.
Jeter then called for the ball like it was hit on the ground and he was looking to produce the first out in a 5-6-3 double play. But Wheeler instead slinged it across the diamond to 1B Mark Teixeira for the actual second out.
The Yankees veteran shortstop “rope-a-doped” Kipnis by playing off the bag and signaling for the ball—baiting the Indians young star into gunning it toward second.
Instead of breaking up the potential double play, he found himself the victim of a cleverly-turned double play—via the air, rather than the ground. And he became just another notch on “The Captain’s” bedpost.
Kipnis is a smart player, and will likely learn from it/probably pay a bit more attention on the basepaths before completely committing to running in the future.
The bottom line is that Jeter produces double plays without even touching the ball. He’s still that good. Currently playing in his final series in Cleveland, he went 1-4 (1 RBI, 1 R) at the plate in the Yankees’ Monday night victory.