The Yankees again loaded the bases in the second inning, again with two outs. This time, Cano, another slumping Yankee who was 2 for 22 in the ALDS, stepped to the plate. He hit a bullet up the middle that bounced off Fister's leg and went right to Peralta, who barehanded it and fired to first. Umpire Rob Drake called Cano out, though a video replay suggested otherwise. Cano also spiked his helmet hard into the ground and would finish the night 0 for 6.
When the Tigers had their opportunities, they made the most of them. Center fielder Austin Jackson led off the sixth with a triple down the first-base line. New York pitcher Andy Pettitte intentionally walked Cabrera, choosing Fielder as the lesser poison. Fielder proved to be just as dangerous, singling to center to knock in the game's first run. The next batter, Young, then singled in Cabrera, giving Detroit a 2-0 lead. Young later added a solo home run in the eighth and finished the night 3 for 6 with three RBI.
“He seems to hit with confidence here for whatever reason,” Leyland said.
Fister struck out five in 61
3 scoreless innings for the Tigers, while Pettitte gave up seven hits and two runs while striking out five and walking three in a 62
3 innings for New York. The Yankees went through eight pitchers on the night, and the Tigers needed six. Rookie reliever Drew Smyly pitched two scoreless innings in relief to pick up the win for Detroit.
Before Smyly threw a single warmup pitch, New York had squandered several opportunities. In the bottom of the sixth, Rodriguez stepped to the plate with runners on second and third, another opportunity to jump-start his postseason.
“We need this guy to be Alex. That’s the bottom line,” Girardi had told reporters before the game. “If we want to make some noise, we need this guy to be Alex.”
What they actually needed was A-Rod, the superhuman slugger who filled the seats and scared the opposition. This guy — Alex, a 37-year old mortal who happens to have five years remaining on his contract and is owed $114 million — came to the plate in the sixth with two runners in scoring position. He struck out on three pitches, his 10th strikeout in 19 postseason at-bats.
He was due up again in the eighth, but Leyland called for a right-hander out of the bullpen. Girardi had no choice. He pulled Rodriguez from the on-deck circle and for the third time in four games, sent in a pinch hitter, casting uncertainty on the future — both immediate and long-term — of a slugger who not long ago was the game’s very best.
While Rodriguez will surely step to the plate again in this series, Jeter will have to watch from the dugout. After the Tigers’ go-ahead run crossed the plate in the 12th, Jeter fielded a sharp grounder to his left, falling awkwardly to the ground and grimacing.
“He wasn’t moving. He wasn’t getting up,” Teixeira said. “So you knew something was wrong.”
When Jeter was finally helped to his feet, he was unable to put any pressure on the ankle. He had to be helped off the field by Girardi and team trainer Steve Donahue. “He’s as tough as they come,” said New York General Manager Brian Cashman. “So when you see that, you know it’s serious.”
X-rays confirmed their fears, and they’ll have to shuffle the lineup heading into Game 2. Rodriguez will not get a shot at short, Girardi said, and the Yankees will activate infielder Eduardo Nunez.
“We have to have guys step up. It’s kind of been the theme all year,” Teixeira said. “If one team is used to having guys step in to take someone’s place, it’s us."