The Yankees blew early chances, had a miracle comeback (Ibanez again!) to force extra innings, but then lost Game 1 of the ALCS 6-4 to Detroit.
Even more devastating was the loss of Derek Jeter until next season with a fractured ankle.
The Yanks can only blame themselves for the loss. The left the bases loaded in the first when A-Rod’s grounder was fielded on a good play by SS Peralta, who forced Ibanez at second. They left them loaded again the next inning, when Cano’s smash up the middle (Cano is 0 for his last 21 in the postseason) hit Fister on his wrist and deflected to Peralta, who nipped Cano at first. A-Rod hit into a DP in the fifth. In the sixth, after the Tigers scored two off Pettitte in the top of the inning, Teixeira reached on an error. Ibanez doubled. 2nd and 3rd, no one out, and the Yankees once again got NOTHING. A-Rod struck out (and was PH for… again…. later in the game. Sheesh. 5 more years and $114 million left on the contract of a 37-year old who looks done). Swisher walked. Granderson and Martin each struck out. Three times they left the bases loaded in the first six innings. THREE TIMES.
Pettitte, who lost game 2 of the ALDS 3-2, pitched another good game and once again got no support. 6 2/3 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 3 walks and 5 K. He left trailing 2-0.
Derek Lowe went 2/3, 2 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 K. The Tigers got two in the 8th. Delmon Young getting the first one with a HR (he killed the Yankees last year and did it again last night, 3 for 6 with 3 RBI).
So they went into the bottom of the ninth down 4-0. Ichiro hit a 2-run HR to cut it to 4-2. Then, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Teixiera, down 0-2 in the count, worked out a walk, bringing up Ibanez, who stunningly, amazingly, did it again. A 2-run HR to tie the game.
On the game went.
Logan 2/3, 0 r, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K.
Eppley 2/3, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Rapada 1/3, 0 R, 0 H 0 walks, 1 K.
Soriano 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K.
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K.
But then Phelps, who lost Game 4 of the ALDS in the 13th, lost this one in the 12th. 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 6-4 Tigers.
In the middle of that top of the 12th, Jeter fell while fielding a ground ball. He was carried off the field and is done for the postseason with a fractured ankle. Nix will SS from here on out. Nunez is back on the roster.
You hope Nix can provide a spark. Hardly anyone else is.
The Yanks have their backs against the wall. They aren’t hitting (3 for 13 RISP, 13 LOB). They lost their captain. Kuroda on 3 days rest tonight. Down 0-1 in the series. They have to win tonight to avoid going down 0-2 heading to Motown.
Cano was 0 for 6 last night and is 0 for his last 21 or so in the postseason. We know how bad A-Rod (0 for 3, left 6 on) and Granderson 0 for 4 have been. I was one calling for Chavez, and he went 0 for 3 and is hitless in the postseason himself (although, to be fair, Jackson made a great catch to rob Chavez of a double last night). Swisher is 1 for his last 35 or so with RISP in the postseason.
The Yankees wasted another good pitching outing by Pettitte, who is still waiting for postseason win #20.
They have soldiered on this season without Rivera. They lost Pettitte for two months with a fractured ankle.
Now they have to do it without Jeter.
It would help if someone besides Ibanez and Ichiro (who besides driving in all 4 last night, had 2 of the 3 RBI in the do-or-die Game 5 of the ALDS vs. Baltimore) turned up clutch.