Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees celebrates a...

Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees celebrates a run with Andruw Jones #22 against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. (April 23, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Words such as "amazing," "remarkable" and "unbelievable" made their way around the Yankees' clubhouse after Monday's victory over the Rangers.

None of the superlatives, however, came from the player in which they were directed.

For Derek Jeter, it is, he said with a shrug, just "two weeks."

The shortstop, who turns 38 in June, is off to one of the best starts of his career, collecting hits in 15 of the Yankees' first 16 games entering Tuesday night's game. Jeter raised his average to .411 and his OBP to .436 in Monday's 7-4 win. He had hits in his first four at-bats, and went 4-for-5.

According to Elias, Jeter is the first Yankee to record 30 or more hits in the team's first 16 games of a season. "I don't think you ever anticipate anyone being this hot but I'm going to take it," Joe Girardi said.

Girardi added later: "He's playing like he's 25."

Age, of course, is a bit of a sore subject for Jeter. He didn't want to hear he was in his decline during his across-the-board bad 2010 and not last year when, before landing on the disabled list, he was off to the worst start of his career.

Before going on the DL with a right calf strain June 14, he was hitting .260. After returning July 3 he hit .331 the rest of the season. He was particularly good against lefthanded pitching, hitting .390, and has continued that kind of production this season, hitting .630 (17-for-27).

"I went a long stretch where I didn't stay back. Now I'm staying back. If you're able to do that, good things happen," Jeter said. "But it's not really like this is the first time I've done it in my career. It has nothing to do with age, it has nothing to do with anything. If the mechanics are good, the results will be there."

Girardi was asked almost daily the first 2½ months last season about Jeter's spot in the order and whether the shortstop should be moved down. He had a standard response.

"When he went through his struggles last year, one thing I wasn't going to do, I wasn't going to doubt him," Girardi said late Monday night. "Because I know his heart, I know his character and how hard he works at what he does."

And it's that work, Jeter said, that is the cornerstone of his torrid start.

"You don't just sit around and do nothing in the offseason," he said. "I worked hard in the offseason to continue it and carried it through spring training."

Girardi used a variety of words in describing Jeter's start but "surprised" wasn't one.

"We've gotten so used to seeing it over the years that anything he really does doesn't surprise me," he said. "He's never shied away from the big at-bat, he's never shied away from the big game."

Jeter used the word "fun" in talking about his start but in the context of the Yankees taking a four-game winning streak into Tuesday night's game.

"It's fun when we're winning," Jeter said. "I don't really try to focus on myself. The bottom line is we're trying to win games and even if you don't get hits you can still help out, help the team win. So as long as we're winning, I'm having fun."

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