Derek Jeter didn't even wait for a trainer. Noticeably limping, he knew his day was done.
Jeter strained his right calf during a flyout in the fifth inning, jogged down the first base line and immediately pulled himself Monday night, stalling his pursuit of 3,000 career hits.
The New York Yankees star left in a 1-0 loss to Cleveland with 2,994 hits. The team will assess the Grade I strain — the mildest type — on Tuesday, hoping he can avoid his first trip to the disabled list since 2003.
"I'm worried about him," manager Joe Girardi said. "Just keep our fingers crossed and hopefully it's not too serious."
Jeter is known for trying to play through injuries. For example, he was back in the lineup, bruises and all, the day after diving into the stands for that famous catch that bloodied his face in 2004 against Boston.
But he clearly was in trouble Monday as soon as he took one step out of the batter's box in the fifth. He went to a hospital after the early exit.
"He just walked off the field and you could tell he was done," Girardi said. "You don't see him come out of games."
Regardless of the MRI results, Girardi said he didn't think Jeter would be able to play Tuesday night against Texas.
Teammates, fans and even Jeter himself had said it would be nice to achieve the milestone at Yankee Stadium. New York has three games left against Texas on this homestand, then goes on a six-game road trip to Wrigley Field in Chicago, and Cincinnati.
"It's frustrating," Girardi said. "He's six hits away. You'd hope he could've did it here. Obviously, he looked pretty sore."
All eyes, and cameras, were on Jeter when stepped to the plate in the first and he singled sharply. He looked fine when he grounded out in the second and seemed to be having no problems at shortstop.
That changed in the fifth. He touched first base after the ball was caught, returned to the dugout and was gone.
Eduardo Nunez replaced Jeter to start the top of the sixth. There was a slight murmur in the crowd of 43,551 when the public-address announcer told fans that Nunez was the new shortstop.
Jeter is trying to become the first player to reach 3,000 hits while with the Yankees. Approaching his 37th birthday, he had been in a pronounced slump to start the season but had been showing more flashes of his All-Star form in recent weeks.