In five steps that appeared routine but weren't, Derek Jeter went from Captain Clutch to Captain Gone and the Yankees' chances of getting to the World Series likely evaporated into the chilled air of an early autumn evening. Not only did the Yankees suffer an excruciating 6-4 loss in 12 innings to the Tigers in Game 1 of the ALCS last night in front of 47,122 at Yankee Stadium, Jeter fractured his left ankle going for a Jhonny Peralta ground ball in the 12th inning when the winners scored twice off David Phelps. When Jeter, who is expected to need three months to recover, didn't get up off the infield dirt, everyone watching understood whatever was wrong was bad. "It's crushing. You go from the highest of highs to losing the game and having our heart and soul snatched away from us,'' Derek Lowe said. The high was provided by Raul Ibanez's latest late-game magic. His two-run homer off Jose Valverde with two outs in the ninth tied the score, 4-4, and sent the game into extra innings. Ichiro Suzuki homered with a man on earlier in the inning. "It's going to be difficult,'' Ibanez said of not having Jeter for the rest of the ALCS or the World Series — if the Yankees can handle the Tigers without their leadoff hitter, shortstop and heartbeat. "We have to step up and make it happen.'' Deleted from the ALCS roster earlier in the day, Eduardo Nunez will take Jeter's spot. It remains to be seen if Joe Girardi, who with trainer Steve Donohue assisted Jeter off the field, inserts the defensively-challenged Nunez at short or goes with the steady Jayson Nix.
Jeter breaks ankle, Yankees fall in 12 after miracle four-run comeback
New York Post | Oct 14