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The 3K Watch is over: Jeter joins the club

Listing the 3,000-hit club, updated with its newest member:

Pete Rose 4,256
Ty Cobb 4,189
Hank Aaron 3,771
Stan Musial 3,630
Tris Speaker 3,514
Carl Yastrzemski 3,419
Honus Wagner 3,415
Paul Molitor 3,319
Eddie Collins 3,315
Willie Mays 3,283
Eddie Murray 3,255
Nap Lajoie 3,242
Cal Ripken Jr. 3,184 
George Brett 3,154
Paul Waner 3,152
Robin Yount 3,142
Tony Gwynn 3,141
Dave Winfield 3,110
Craig Biggio, 3,060
Cap Anson, 3,055
Rickey Henderson 3,055
Rod Carew 3,053
Lou Brock 3,023
Rafael Palmeiro 3,020
Wade Boggs 3,010
Al Kaline 3,007
DEREK JETER 3,003
Roberto Clemente 3,000

Here's the video of the home run. Jeter and Boggs the only men to get 3,000 by going deep.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Jeter 3K Watch on hold: Game rained out

I'm told it's pouring in Yankee Stadium and with the forecast bad all night, the Yankees made an early call to postpone tonight's game against the Rays, banging it about 90 minutes before the scheduled first pitch.

So Derek Jeter remains stuck at 2,998 and only has two home games left before the All-Star Game. (Jeter pulled out of that today and so did A-Rod, as we noted on our previous post). The Rays did not agree to a doubleheader on Saturday like the Yankees wanted so the game will be made up later in the season.

The teams thus play Saturday and Sunday afternoons. If Jeter doesn't get two hits, he'll pick up the chase again next Thursday in Toronto. Bet there will be a ton of Yankees fans there if that's the case.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Jeter and A-Rod both out of all-star game

Derek Jeter is two hits away from 3,000 but there is breaking news coming from Yankees camp prior to tonight's game against the Rays -- Jeter is not going to the All-Star Game.

The shortstop has apparently just told reporters gathered for what's now a daily pregame press conference on the road to 3,000 that he pulled himself from the game for precautionary reasons in the wake of his calf injury. Jeter is 4 for 18 at the plate since sitting out 18 games with the injury.

Alex Rodriguez, meanwhile, is not in tonight's lineup and is apparently headed for an MRI on his injured knee. When I was in Cleveland Wednesday night, A-Rod's gait was clearly not right. He didn't run well to first base and didn't run well in foul territory after a popup. Something tells me he's going to join Jeter and Mariano Rivera in begging off the trip to Phoenix as well. (5 p.m. update -- A-Rod has also pulled out as well)

Also not playing for the Yankees tonight is Nick Swisher, who pulled a quad last night while playing right field. The Yankees have lost four of five and have fallen behind the Red Sox in the AL East. Jeter's quest is proving to be a distraction.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Jottings on Jeter

2997CLEVELAND -- The Yankees' PR department has put out a 21-page pamphlet on Derek Jeter entitled "Quest for 3000". It's updated every day and chock full of numbers and tidbits about the shortstop's run to 3,000 hits.

The final 16 pages list every single hit of Jeter's career by date, opponent/site, pitcher, type of hit, inning, outs and RBIs. Awesome. I vividly recall covering Jeter's first home run here on April 2, 1996 in the fifth inning off Cleveland's Dennis Martinez. Had no recollection of the fact it was actually his 13th career hit.

Jeter is at 2,997 heading into Thursday's game against Tampa Bay after cracking an eighth-inning double here Wednesday (right).

Here's my column on Jeter's day during the series finale in Cleveland.

And here's more Jeterian Jottings on the Quest to 3,000:

---Jeter is about to become the 11th member of the 28-member 3,000-hit club to collect all of them with one team.

---Jeter has hits off 807 pitchers, led by 32 against Tim Wakefield. He's also faced Wakefield the most, with 119 plate appearances.

---Best batting average against a pitcher: .600 against Hideo Nomo (12 for 20).

---Worst 0-fer against a pitcher: 0 for 14 against Jorge Julio.

---Most hits in an inning: 654 in the first (439 in the third is next). He has one 13th-inning hit, one in the 14th, three in the 15th and two in the 17th. 

---Most hits against an opponent: 303 against Baltimore. Fewest: 5 vs. the Chicago Cubs

---Most hits in a road stadium: 160 at Camden Yards, 139 at Rogers Centre (fewest is 1 at Tokyo Dome and 2 at Wrigley Field for an MLB stadium).

---Of the 27 previous 3,000-hit players, some have played with the Yankees (think Dave Winfield, Wade Boggs and Rickey Henderson. No one got their 3,000th hit with the Yanks. And no player, be it a New York player or visitor, has ever got No. 3,000 at either old Yankee Stadium or the new version. 

---At the time of his first hit on May 30, 1995:
     Gas cost $1.09 per gallon and a postage stamp was 32 cents
    Only 13 of the 30 current stadiums in the majors were being used for baseball
    Alex Rodriguez had no career home runs. His first came for Seattle on June 12, 1995 

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

AP Photo: Jeter doubles for hit No. 2,997 Wednesday. The catcher is Carlos Santana.

Jeter talks his way back into lineup

CLEVELAND -- Joe Girardi said after last night's 9-2 Yankees win here that he was seriously considering giving Derek Jeter a rest tonight. That certainly prompted a lot of nervous reaction from ticket holders to the series finale in Progressive Field, many of whom probably were coming from Western New York.

Not to worry. Jeter, like he always does, lobbied to be in the lineup and he'll be in his customary leadoff spot tonight, four hits shy of the magic 3,000 mark for his career. You can watch it tonight at 7 on YES.

Sitting in a leather chair at his locker and surrounded by about two dozen reporters, Jeter said before tonight's game that his injured calf is fine and there would be no reason for him to sit out.

"His thing was how much I'm playing just coming back," Jeter said of Girardi. "I told him I was fine and that's pretty much the extent of it."

Jeter would like to get the milestone watch over with but said that wasn't a major factor in wanting to play tonight, especially since the Yankees are going home for the weekend to meet Tampa Bay in a four-game set starting tomorrow.

"If I had 500 hits, I'd still be wanting to play," he said. "This isn't the first time I've done it. I used to do the same thing with Mr. T [Joe Torre] when he tried to take me out. I want to play."

Girardi said he talked to Jeter after last night's game in his office and they then exchanged texts in the hotel. He slept on the thought of sitting Jeter down and then made up his mind today.

"What I realized is none of us know what it's like to be in pursuit of 3,000 hits," Girardi said. "We don't know what's going through his mind. Maybe it's worse in a sense if you're sitting around thinking about it. He swung the bat good last night. Physically, he feels well. He's healthy, he's rested. So why not get him back in there? He's had success off Masterton [going 5 for 12 in his career off Cleveland starter Justin Masterton]. Get him back in there and let's get this out of the way so can go about his business in a normal way."

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

MLB HR Derby party starts Bisons' countdown as hosts of 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game

Monday night -- July 11, 2011 -- will mark the one-year mark for the countdown to the 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game, which will be held July 11, 2012 in Coca-Cola Field. The giant signs advertising the game (and the Home Run Derby on July 9, 2012) have been hanging in the left-field corner for a few weeks.

To start the festivities, the Bisons will be hosting a watch party for MLB's Home Run Derby from Chase Field in Phoenix Monday night at 7. For a $5 donation to Team Gary, the fund to aid injured Buffalo police officer Gary Sengbusch, fans can watch the derby on the BisonsTV HD Board and will receive a free hot dog and Coca-Cola product, as well as chances to win prizes based on the result of the derby.

Fans will also have a chance to compete in the Bisons' Home Run Distance Challenge. Fans will get one swing off a tee at home plate with the longest hits winning prizes that include tickets to next year's Triple-A game. There will be live music from Tom Stahl and the Dangerfields from 7-8 as well as a cash bar at Pettibones Grille and open concession stands. 

In addition, the team will be opening sale of the Triple-A All-Star Game/Home Run Derby ticket packages and making merchandise available for the first time at the MLB Derby watch party.

The 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game will be a signature element of Coca-Cola Field's 25th anniversary season. The first Triple-A game was held in Buffalo on July 13, 1988. in front of a sellout crowd of 19,500.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Live from the Ballpark: BPO Night with the Bisons

It's Independence Eve at Coca-Cola Field and that means the annual post-game concert from the BPO and the season's largest fireworks show, all of it coming before what should be another packed house or close to it.

I'm betting this might be one of the best shows ever because of the giant HD screen in center field. The video will really augment the music, especially in the dark with the lights off. Should be a great show.

The Bisons have been a decent show on this homestand with a 6-3 record, albeit with losses in their last two games. The Herd will be wearing special red, white and blue caps for tonight's game, which you can watch on Time Warner 13. Buffalo is 36-48 but can pull even at home this year at 24-24 with a win. Syracuse is 35-45.

Jack Egbert, who missed all of last year with Tommy John surgery and has lost his first two starts, is on the mound against former Washington National Craig Stammen (7-3). Fernando Martinez has been returned from the Mets but is not expected here tonight.

Keep it here during the game for updates and thoughts on the Bisons.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

The Buffalo lineup: Luis Figueroa, ss; Jesus Feliciano, cf; Nick Evans, lf; Valentino Pascucci, 1b; Michael Fisher, 3b; Luis Hernandez, 2b; Bubba Bell, rf; Raul Chavez, c; Jack Egbert, p

First pitch: The members of the Bedlington Terriers, the English-based soccer team that Bob Rich has befriended and brought to Buffalo, had their picture taken around the mound prior to their pitch.

6:30 update: Syracuse has a 2-1 lead after one inning. It will be interesting to see how close this one comes to a sellout. It's always a late arriving crowd (veterans know the show doesn't really start until the 9:30 range), but there are plenty of empties down the left-field line. Already folks in deep right field so that will be full. The Terriers, several in kilts, came out to kick soft balls into the crowd. The music that accompanied them? "Who Let the Dogs Out?" Nice. Bisons PR maven Brad Bisbing says that, in fact,  is the team's goal song.

6:50 p.m.: It's 2-2 in the top of the third as Bubba Bell tied the game for the Herd with a solo home run into the tarp covering the BPO's stage in right. During the 13-inning July 3 marathon against Rochester in 2008, Metro's Dave Ricci famously cracked, "Hit one at the oboe player" as the game dragged on. Bell's shot would have nailed an oboe or one of the town's more noted viola players, at least to Sabres fans.

7 p.m: Scoreboard faux pas. A trivia question asks which year the Bisons set the International League attendance record: 1988, 1990 or 1991. How quickly the kids working here forget. The Bisons were in the American Association in those days (the answer was 1991, by the way, with more than 1.2 million).

7:35 p.m.: It's 3-2 for the Bisons after four. Bell singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth to go 2 for 2. Michael Fisher is also 2 for 2. Luis Figueroa's two-out RBI single gave the Herd the lead and made him 2 for 3. Fisher has been an interesting midseason callup from Double-A in his first Triple-A chance. Batting over .270 and slugging nearly .400. Got a real chance through all of Zach Lutz's injury troubles.

7:50 p.m.: Halfway home and it's 3-2 for the Bisons through 4 1/2. Great 2 1/3 innings of relief from Mike O'Connor of the Herd. ... There is nothing like reading game notes at the ballpark. Bisbing's nightly nuggets always include some head-shakers. Like these: The Bisons are 0-40 when trailing after eight innings and 1-39 when trailing after 7. ... Nick Evans has 12 multi-hit games in 17 outings since returning from New York. ... Buffalo starters had an 0.75 ERA in their first two games in July after posting a 5.15 mark in June. ... Counting tonight, the Bisons have been outscored, 59-46, in the first inning and 50-30 in the second. ...

7:52 p.m.: The mascots for the chicken wing race are warming up on the hill in right field. Celery remains winless. 

7:55 p.m.: Wing wins after some physical contact. Heavy duty. Bleu Cheese might need a trainer....Lots of interference from Buster and Chip too. It's Wing 28, BC 16 and Celery zip. Guess the stalk's last chance is Sept. 1.

8:05 p.m: You see plenty of weirdness at times here on July 3. We've got a guy in front of the press box lifting a small boy so he can see inside and he's thoroughly entertained watching us. As if we're in the Biosphere. Hey pal, make sure he doesn't get cranked in the back of the head by a foul ball.

8:15 p.m: Three solid innings of relief by Mike O'Connor but he needed 3 1/3. Gives up two-out RBI hits to Steve Lombardozzi and Gregor Blanco as the Chiefs take a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth and gets relieved by Taylor Tankersley.

8:18 p.m.: Want to read about Derek Jeter's rehab outing tonight in Trenton? Go here to this great blog from Mike Ashmore of the Hunterdon County Democrat.

8:27 p.m: Just been pointed out to me that Bisons have 12 of their final 59 games against the Chiefs. Ugh. These teams both mostly stink. And in a bizarre twist of the IL schedule, tomorrow's meeting at Alliance Bank Stadium is the first of the year in the Salt City.

8:33 p.m.: The Chiefs have broken it open with a four-run seventh off Tankersley to make it 8-3. A bunt single by Tug Hulett -- on a ball that was foul and took a big right turn fair and rolled over the bag -- was a key play. Corey Brown just cleared the bases with a three-run double to right-center. 

8:36 p.m.: Two-run bomb high into the screen in left by Jeff Frazier. 10-3, Chiefs. Get to the BPO and the fireworks. 

8:38 p.m.: Huge Bronx cheer from the crowd as Tankersley fans Lombardozzi for the first out. The first six men in the inning have all scored on five hits and a walk. The inning ends with the score still 10-3.

9:15 p.m.: Fans happy as we head to the bottom of the 9th. Still 10-3. Herd will finish 6-4 on this homestand. Pretty good considering this season but a disappointment considering it started 6-1. It's a season-high crowd of 17,454, putting the total at  317,511 in 17 years of BPO nights.

Final score: Syracuse 10, Buffalo 4. Bisons get a run in the ninth on Figueroa's RBI double, his third hit.

Bizarre three-ball walk costs Mariners

You can be pretty certain they'll be counting balls and strikes a lot closer now in the Mariners' dugout from now on after what happened late Saturday night. The Mariners lost to the Padres, 1-0, as San Diego's Cameron Maybin scored the game's only run in the fifth inning -- after reaching base on a three-ball walk

Yes, a three-ball walk.

Scoreboard operators at Safeco Field moved the count from 1-2 to 3-2 after an outside pitch in the dirt and no one in the park noticed. No umpires, not catcher Josh Bard (the ex-Bison) or Maybin. Mariners manager and old friend Eric Wedge did think something was amiss but he thought he had missed a pitch since no one else in the park reacted. Turns out Wedge knew what the deal was. 

Go here for the MLB.com link to the video of the "walk." It includes the actual at-bat and the review of it from the ROOT Sports Northwest telecast a couple of innings later.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Syracuse in town for a two-game series

---The Bisons, currently 6-2 on this 10-game homestand, take on Syracuse in a two-game series tonight and Sunday afternoon. Buffalo is an even 23-23 at Coca-Cola Field this season. Here is the starting lineup for tonight's game:

Luis Figueroa, ss
Michael Fisher, 3b
Nick Evans, rf
Val Pascucci, 1b
Jason Botts, lf
Mike Nickeas, c
Luis Hernandez, 2b
Jesus Feliciano, cf
Mark Cohoon, p

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Doc makes his house call to Toronto

TORONTO -- I'm on the scene at Rogers Centre for a game I've had circled in my mind for two years. It's the return of Roy Halladay to Toronto to meet the Blue Jays as the Phillies are in town for a 1:07 first pitch. This was, remember, supposed to happen last year but the teams' interleague series had to be moved to Philly because the G-20 Summit was in Toronto and the ballpark was within the security perimeter.

So MLB, in a wise move, granted the Jays' wish of a rematch series against the Phils. To top it off, they gave it to them on a holiday weekend. So more than 45,000 packed the park on Canada Day for yesterday's 7-6 Phillies win and a similar throng should be in the house today.

Halladay got a huge ovation (see the MLB.com video here) and doffed his cap as he took the lineup card to home plate yesterday. There was a video tribute and the whole thing was done at the Blue Jays' request. He should get plenty of rousing cheers again today. While many ex-Jays have heard it here when they returned, Halladay was a beloved figure and almost no one blamed him for asking out in 2009 to try to get on a winner. 

Halladay went 21-10 for the Phillies last year and then, of course, threw his playoff no-hitter against the Reds. He's 10-3 with a 2.40 ERA this season.

In the National Post, Jays pitcher Ricky Romero said, "He was the face of this franchise for such a long time,” Romero said. “He deserved a standing ovation. But as of [Saturday] I think he’s our enemy."

In the Toronto Star, veteran columnist Richard Griffin tells fans they should definitely stand and cheer when Halladay takes the mound.

In the Toronto Sun, Hall of Famer-to-be Bob Elliott has a neat read on several folks earliest recollections of Halladay.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Schwinden makes 15th start of the season

---The last time Chris Schwinden took the mound he retired 17 consecutive batters in a victory over Norfolk. The IL All-Star is also making his staff high 15th start on the year. Here is the starting lineup for tonight's game:

Luis Figueroa, ss
Michael Fisher, 3b
Nick Evans, lf
Val Pascucci, 1b
Jesus Feliciano, cf
Luis Hernandez, 2b
Bubba Bell, rf
Raul Chavez, c
Chris Schwinden, p

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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