Yankees lose ALCS opener, Jeter out with broken ankle

The Yankees got a pair of big two-run home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning by Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez to tie the game at 4-4, but lost the game in extra innings as they lost 6-4 to drop the first game of the ALCS.

Losing the game was bad, but perhaps even worse was losing Derek Jeter, who broke his ankle on a ground ball in the 12th inning. He’s out at least three months which means there is no chance he will come back this season. Expect Eduardo Nunez to be activated and probably start with the righty on the mound Sunday.

Back to this game, the Yankees offense barely showed up for this game. They failed to score a run through the first eight innings despite loading the bases three different times and getting runners on base in other innings as well.

There were three major turning points in that time though.

The first was in the first inning, bases loaded and two outs with Alex Rodriguez at the plate. A-Rod smashed the ball in the hold to the left of short, but Jhonny Peralta made a great play and barely got the runner at second, saving a run.

Another was in the second inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Robinson Cano smashed a ball up the middle that caught Doug Fister on the foot and bounced to Peralta, who made a bare-handed throw to first and umpire Rob Drake called him out. Replays showed that Cano was safe and the missed call by the umpire had cost the Yankees a run.

Another was a questionable call by Joe Girardi. Starting pitcher Andy Pettitte was impressive early on, but struggled in the sixth and was lifted in the seventh. Instead of Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, Cody Eppley, or even David Phelps, Girardi went with Derek Lowe. Lowe threw three quick pitches to strikeout Miguel Cabrera, but the next inning Lowe was much two hittable and was eventually charged with two runs on a double by Delmon Young and a singly by Andy Dirks. By not going with one of his better relievers, Girardi hurt his chances at keeping it 2-0.

So the Yankees were having a bit of bad luck. A great play, a blown call, and a bad decision by the manager and the Yankees are trailing 4-0. Then something amazing happened. Ichiro and Ibanez both hit two-run home runs to tie the game at 4-4. Suddenly they had a second chance.

Unfortunately, the offense fell asleep after that. They were silent as the Tigers scored a pair of runs in the top of the twelth on a Delmon Young double and an Andy Dirks single that made it 6-4. That was the inning that Jeter broke his ankle fielding a ball to his left. After Jeter got hurt the stadium lost all its energy and the bats went down quickly. A frustrating game with a bit of memorable heroics in the ninth inning was over.

Going down 1-0 in a seven game series isn’t a big deal, but losing Jeter is huge. Now we have to worry every time the ball is hit toward short. Nunez has much better range than Jeter, but doesn’t have his hands or accuracy whatsoever.

Hiroki Kuroda, pitching for the first time ever on short rest, will try to even the series against Anibal Sanchez, who was terrible against the Yankees in August, Sunday afternoon at 4:07 p.m. Since it’s in afternoon game tickets will be cheap. If you want to go to the game support Bronx Baseball Daily and buy the tickets through our partner.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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4 Responses to Yankees lose ALCS opener, Jeter out with broken ankle

  1. Paul says:

    I know it's easy in retrospect to play the "If this, then that" game, & the Reality is that you can't change what has already happened, but looking back to the 10th inning, if Girardi would have been More Aggressive with Gardner SOONER, the game never would have gotten to the 12th. He had the chance, after Gardner had already stolen 2nd, to have him steal 3rd Immediately. While you never know whether or not he would have stolen 3rd safely, if he had, it would have put him into position to score later in that at bat on Martin's flyout to center (albeit to shallow center) with one out. There is no doubt they would have sent him & tested Jackson's arm to end the game. Hindsight is 20/20 & you can't change the past, but it's frustrating to think how much different things could have or would have been if Girardi didn't manage that situation so passively

  2. JayJay says:

    Pitching Lowe in a 2-run game was criminal, a fireable offense. Girardi may be a good leader but this move, like letting A-Rod bat against O'Day in the 8th inning of Game 4, both cost the Yankees important wins. I agree about Gardner. I also think Jeter should have bunted with Gardener on 3rd – force Miggy to make that play. The offense has been unbelievably inspired, including from Girardi's perspective

  3. Gonzalo Hiram says:

    The worst Yankees offense I have seen in my life, everytime they were getting closer to the HRs record I was getting more and more scared.

    It has been HR or nothing and since June I said there is no way to success during postseason playing like that. But stubborn people told me I'm wrong. I don't care How nice person Swisher is he has to go, Granderson also has to go and the easiest one BYE BYE Kevin Long.

    We have an awesome team: CC, Hughes, Phelps, Nova, Pineda, we can bring back Pettitte and/or Kuroda. Very good bullpen. We can't change the Infield too bad we have some very bad contracts there. But the outfield needs to change drastically

    • David K. says:

      The way this team hit home runs in the regular season, they really should have scored 1,000 runs. That they can break the home run record and score only about 800 runs was really amazing. It means that they don't generate runs in other ways. They don't hit with RISP. They don't hit enough, period. There is no way I would want this kind of offense in a short playoff series. Making contact and getting hits, whether they're singles or doubles, wins playoff series. It's rare that this kind of team gets far in the playoffs. 2009 was an aberration.

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