The Yankees first Derek Jeter-less playoff game since Buck Showalter came and went with a great performance by Hiroki Kuroda and a complete and total no-show by the offense as they were shutout 3-0 by the Tigers to fall to 0-2 in the best of seven ALCS.
It was a pathetic showing. Even Kuroda’s impressive performance was ruined in the eighth inning by a bad call and a manager whose most trusted reliever seems to be Boone Logan. The Yankees should have been out of the inning with the game still down just 1-0 when Omar Infante was thrown out at second. Instead second base umpire Jeff Nelson called him safe and two runs scored.
Not that it mattered much because the Yankees offense continued to be lifeless. Without Jeter, who was one of their best hitters, fans have taken to cheering Alex Rodriguez‘s singles. And why not? Robinson Cano is in the middle of a playoff record 0-for-26 skid, their No. 4 hitter is 40-years-old, and A-Rod, Nick Swisher, and Curtis Granderson have just one more hit, 10, than Jeter had by himself.
This series is very much winnable, but the Yankees certainly put themselves into a tough spot Sunday night. Now they head into Detroit down 0-2 with Justin Verlander ready to take the mound. Just like that all of the Yankees hopes are in Phil Hughes, a pitcher whose best pitch is his home-run ball, and the same offense who hasn’t even scored a run on the Tigers’ No. 2 or 3 starters.
It’s about time the offense woke up. If they could manage that they could turn this around in a hurry. A win against Verlander, although very tough, would be huge. They would have CC Sabathia going the next day with a chance to tie the series in that scenario with Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda coming up after that. The offense has been pretty pathetic, but with the Yankees rotation they are capable of a lot.