The New York Yankees managed to outlast the Baltimore Orioles to advance to the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers. Since then things haven’t gone too well for the ‘Bronx Bombers’. Not only did the Yankees drop Game 1 to the Tigers 6-4 in extra innings but they’ve also lost shortstop Derek Jeter who’ll miss the rest of the postseason with a broken ankle.
Detroit opened up a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth only to see the Yankees rally to tie the game and send it into extra innings. The mood of the Yankee Stadium crowd changed quickly after Jeter went down in the top of the 12th inning as he tried to make a play on a ground ball. Jeter went down and didn’t get up sending the crowd into stunned silence. Finally he was assisted off the field as the fans chanted his name.
The Yankees’ trainer and his teammates wanted to carry Jeter off the field but he didn’t want to leave that way. Instead he limped off the field as best he could. In the words of manager Joe Girardi:
“He said, ‘No, do not carry me.’ That is the kind of guy he is.”
Jeter’s injury isn’t serious and he should be back at full strength by spring training next year. His streak of 157 consecutive postseason games played will come to a end. Girardi had more superlatives about Jeter:
“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate his toughness and his grit. It’s, to me, a great example for everyone. And I am not just talking about athletes, I am just talking about everyone that goes through struggles in life or goes through pain in life.”
The Yankees will now have to regroup and continue the playoffs without their ‘emotional leader’. New York General Manager Brian Cashman stressed that his team would have to persevere:
“It’s a tough loss, but it’s not going to be something that we’re going to, you know, let it derail us. “But it’s tough to lose, obviously, any important player. Derek’s obviously been as important as anybody. But now he’s been taken out, so Nix has got to go in there, and we’ve got a lot of confidence in Nix.”
The series will continue at Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon.