Regardless of your stance on the Yankees, there had to be a twinge of sadness seeing Derek Jeter helped off the field with a fractured ankle. Say what you will about Jeter, but the man always plays hard and carries himself with dignity on the field.
He’s milquetoast in an interview, but always Tabasco between the lines. To do what he did this season at his age, at the plate and on defense, was remarkable. You have to admire the way he plays the game. He never gives an inch.
Andy Pettitte was right in that you knew something was wrong the way Jeter tried to flip the ball to Robinson Cano despite his obvious pain and stayed on the ground. Funny, the first thing I thought of when I saw it was how Santanio Holmes threw the ball in the air when he was injured. The difference is in football the opposing team can recover and take it in for a touchdown.
Here, Jeter had the presence of mind to try to continue the play while Holmes, well, he is what he is. Jeter will go into the Hall of Fame when he’s done; Holmes will disappear and won’t be missed.
Can the Yankees win without him? Sure they can, but it will be extremely difficult. While others around him falter, Jeter keeps on going, hit after hit, play after play.
The Yankees looked dead in the water last night until Raul Ibanez’s game-tying homer in the ninth. While he’s been a stunning playoff story, trying to win without Jeter makes the odds more difficult.
The Yankees can still win because their starting pitching has been superb and the bullpen has been solid, enough to compensate for the lack of offense. The Yankees aren’t getting anything from Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher. Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson have also underperformed, and for that matter, so has Cano.
All that marquee talent and they can’t score. It’s like how the Mets’ offense was in the second half, only this time the whole country is watching instead of a handful at Citi Field.
I don’t like their chances because of how they’ve been hitting, Jeter’s injury and that the Tigers are pretty good and can smell it after last night. Many teams can be devastated after blowing a four-run lead in the ninth, but the Tigers regrouped.
One thing working in the Yankees’ favor is Detroit’s porous bullen. The Yankees, when clicking, can win a slugfest.
However, I don’t see it any more for them.