It was in Cincinnati on June 3, 2003, that Derek Jeter was named the Yankees' 11th team captain. Just over 11 years later, the Reds will present a gift to Jeter prior to their game against the Yankees on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium to honor his career as he plays in his final season.
But once they've honored the Yankees captain, the Reds will do everything in their power to make sure he and the Bombers don't replicate Friday night's 4-3 series-opening win.
After posting the National League's best record from May 30 to the All-Star break by going 28-15, Cincinnati didn't start the second half of the season the way it would have liked on Friday. The Reds will send an All-Star to the mound on Saturday in an effort to right the ship.
Right-hander Alfredo Simon, who is tied for the Major League lead with 12 wins, hopes to continue his stellar season as he takes the mound against New York as a starter for the fourth time in his career. In six career appearances (three starts) against the Yankees, Simon is 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA.
Simon last pitched against the Yankees on Sept. 8, 2011, as a member of the Orioles. But he has much more recent experience against one Yankee in particular.
"I faced Derek Jeter in his final All-Star Game," Simon said after pitching a scoreless third inning for the National League in Tuesday's Midsummer Classic. "I just feel happy."
In Simon's first All-Star appearance and Jeter's last, Jeter singled to right off the right-hander.
"I threw another fastball, 3-2, and he got a blooper in. It was OK," Simon said. "I tried to get him out, but if he got a base hit, it's no big deal. It's the All-Star Game. I'm happy for him."
The two will square off again on Saturday afternoon, this time in the regular season, in which Jeter is 2-for-8 (.250) with two RBIs against Simon.
New York will give the ball to right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who will be making his second start for the Yankees after being acquired in a trade from the D-backs earlier this month. He allowed four runs -- one earned -- on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision against the Indians in his Yankees debut on July 9.
McCarthy credited his new catcher, Brian McCann, with helping him settle down after a rough first inning.
"Results-wise, it was all right, but I didn't feel sharp early on, I was struggling with a few things," McCarthy said. "I feel like I did a decent job of getting it back, but McCann was fantastic at keeping in touch with me between each inning, coming up, letting me know what he was seeing. We were able to make adjustments and it made it way easier for me."
Though he is 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA over his last three starts, McCarthy has struggled in his career against Cincinnati. In three career appearances (two starts) against the Reds, he is 0-2 with a 14.73 ERA (12 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings).
Frazier returns home in front of lots of family
After a whirlwind All-Star trip to Minnesota that included a Home Run Derby finale and a chance to reconnect with Jeter, this time as a Major Leaguer, Todd Frazier was still smiling wide Friday at Yankee Stadium. He had come home.
Raised in Toms River, New Jersey, Frazier was able to spend time with family at the beach Thursday before the Reds began their series in New York. That included enjoying some traditional boardwalk concessions.
"I could've stayed there for a couple more days," said Frazier. "You sit back and have some pizza. I tweeted some Sawmill pizza down on the boardwalk. The slices are monstrous. I got a lot of feedback from that. People from Ohio are like, 'Please bring me back some.' It was really fun to be back there."
Yankees: Hoping for more offense in second half
The Yankees entered the second half of the season ranked 13th out of 15 American League teams in runs scored before their 4-3 win over the Reds on Friday. Manager Joe Girardi said he hopes that will change very quickly.
"If we get a lineup hitting like it's capable of hitting, I think it's possible we can score a lot of runs in the second half," Girardi said. "We saw signs of Carlos [Beltran] -- he started swinging the bat before he had this latest incident [two small facial fractures after being hit by a ricocheted ball during batting practice on July 9]. If you look at McCann, he's been swinging the bat better, so it just makes our lineup deeper and more potent to score more runs."
Beltran was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI on Friday. McCann was 1-for-4, also with a double and an RBI.
• Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira have both had success in their careers against Simon. Ellsbury is 4-for-6 (.667) with a double and a triple against the right-hander, while Teixeira is 6-for-11 (.545) with a double, a homer and three RBIs.
• With Ryan Ludwick's 0-for-4 night on Friday, Reds designated hitters in 2014 are 0-for-10.
• After dropping the first game of the three-game weekend set, the Reds are in danger of losing their first opening post-All-Star break series since 2008.
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.