In the top of the 12th inning in tonight's game, Derek Jeter was going for a routine grounder to short that went to his left side. But he didn't get up. He ended up fracturing his left ankle, and his manager is reporting that Jeter is out for the rest of the postseason.
Tigers fans might initially say, "Yess!!" Jeter is gone! We don't have to face him in the lineup! The gold-glove infield has a hole in it!
But take a step back. Teams that lose their captain usually rally very well. They get behind the team. They regroup and strike back with a force previously unseen. And the Yankees aren't a sub-.500 team who might just collapse and give up the rest of the series. These guys won the Eastern Division and fought back to win a series against an upstart Orioles team. They aren't just going to roll over.
I could easily see Alex Rodriguez suddenly be inspired to hit again...if Joe Girardi even puts him in the lineup in this series.
But then again, the Tigers did not give up this game, like they could have. They brought in young pitching to fight through the extra innings, and Delmon Young continued his Yankee-killing ways. The Yankees are losing the one bat in the starting lineup that actually showed up for the ALDS, regardless of lingering leg injuries.
I want to see how this game shapes up tomorrow. Tomorrow's game is huge, to gauge how the Yankees bounce back from the loss of Jeter and how the Tigers bounce back from a closer implosion. The three million Tigers fans out there, wherever you are, keep a positive outlook tomorrow. I think the Tigers are capable of taking tomorrow's game, but they can't let Jeter's injury spark the Yankees. They've got to stomp on that spark until it is completely out. That is most definitely sure.
Oh - and Anibal Sanchez has to pitch a complete game. But that's just a given.