New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter began his final goodbye in front of the adoring Yankees crowd last night as his team opened their final homestand with a 3-2 walk off victory over Toronto Blue Jays.
Jeter, who will retire from baseball at the end of 2014, smashed a home run in the sixth inning during the Yankees win in the four-game series opener.
The Bronx plays host to the Blue Jays this weekend followed by another four-game series against Baltimore Orioles to wave farewell to their heroic captain.
The 40-year-old paid an emotional thank you to the Yankees fans in a video advertisement which will run each day until the final game against the O’s – Derek Jeter’s final home game as a New York Yankees player.
Jeter and his team would have wished for a more fitting send off for the five-time World Series winner. The Yankees (78-74) moved to within five games of the Wild Card spots with victory but look unlikely outsiders to sneak into the postseason.
This would mean their season would finish with a two game series at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox with no postseason appearance. If the Yankees do fail to make the postseason it will be the first time they would have missed out since 2009.
Slim postseason hopes
They continued their push with a walk off victory last night. A Chase Headley ninth-inning ground ball skimmed underneath Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind which allowed Antoan Richardson to score from third.
It was only what the Yankees deserved after controlling the game for the opening seven innings. But the deficiencies in the Yankees side which have been present all season were shown again last night after they threw away their 2-0 lead in the eighth frame.
Jose Bautista homered off Shawn Kelley with a strong drive down to left field. Both he and Jose Reyes scored to tie the game and cause a nervy silence inside Yankee Stadium.
Closer David Robertson came in for Kelley to see off the Blue Jays offense in the ninth and the Yankees were gifted the win via Lind’s fielding error.
What the Yankees would love more than anything is to turn in an eight game winning streak to set up a potential Wild Card berth and prolong Jeter’s career for a few more weeks.
If they are able to achieve this, they will need more luck like last night to come their way between tonight and September 28.