After getting swept by one division leader just before the All-Star break, the New York Yankees try to get back on track against another when they open a three-game home series with the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
New York (51-37) lost all three games to the Los Angeles Angels - the AL West leaders - last weekend, giving up 29 runs in the series after coming in with an eight-game road winning streak.
“I don’t think it is. It’s over now,” Jeter said.
Jeter and the Yankees, though, will be taking on a Detroit team that was the only visiting club to sweep a three-game set at the old Yankee Stadium last year. The AL Central leaders are eager to see New York’s new home, although the Tigers (48-39) are concerned about the amount of home runs hit in the new ballpark in the Bronx.
“There’s some truth to (the home run numbers). Apparently there is a jet stream there,” manager Jim Leyland told the Tigers’ official Web site. “I’m anxious to see it because it’s supposed to be a palace.”
Detroit will be facing a New York club that has struggled badly against division leaders. The Yankees are 5-15 against the Tigers, Angels, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies - the first-place teams they have faced in 2009.
Despite that ugly stat and his club’s poor play last weekend, New York manager Joe Girardi is pleased with how the Yankees played in the first half. The Yankees lead the race for the wild card and trail Boston by three games in the East.
“I think we have had a pretty good first half because of what we have been able to do and some of the difficult times we have gone through,” Girardi told the Yankees’ official Web site. “We have gone through times when we couldn’t score any runs, we went through some injuries. We have been through a lot and been able to battle back strong with everything we have to face.”
Jeter and Robinson Cano(notes) delivered strong first halves with 110 hits apiece, while Mark Teixeira(notes) has a team-high 63 RBIs. Alex Rodriguez(notes) has bounced back from a slow start to hit .373 (22 for 59) with eight homers and 22 RBIs over his last 17 games.
The Yankees need improved work from their starting pitchers, although that’s not true of A.J. Burnett(notes) (8-4, 3.77 ERA). The right-hander posted a 1.77 ERA in winning his last three starts and went 4-1 with a 1.34 ERA in his past five outings.
He allowed two runs over seven innings in his most recent start, a 4-3 win at Minnesota on July 8.
The Yankees took two of three at Detroit from April 27-29 in the teams’ first meeting of the season.