BY KYLE MYERS- FAN FUEL BLOGGER
The 2012 postseason just got a lot more daunting for the New York Yankees. They have now lost games one and two at home, and wasted a two-out bottom of the ninth inning rally in game one that sent the game to extra innings. Even more troubling is the fact that perennial all-star and first ballot Hall of Famer Derek Jeter broke his ankle in the 12th inning of that game, ruling him out for the rest of the postseason.
The injury is not extremely serious – manager Joe Girardi has said that it will not jeopardize the rest of Jeter’s career – but the 2012 postseason is officially over for the 2000 World Series MVP. Jeter has not missed a postseason game since he started in the league in 1996, and if game two is any indication, the Yankees will struggle mightily in his absence.
Jeter has been one of the few bright spots of this Yankees offence so far this postseason. Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, and Curtis Granderson have only combined for eight hits so far this postseason in 81 at bats, with only three runs and five RBI. Jeter hit .364 in the ALDS, best for an everyday player, and was 1 for 5 in game one of the ALCS before his injury.
While he has been susceptible to fielding mistakes this postseason, with two errors to his credit in the ALDS, Jeter is still one of the best fielding short stops in the major leagues. Jayson Nix replaced Jeter after the injury but Eduardo Nunez was activated after the game as another possible replacement for the rest of the postseason.
Nix started in place of Jeter in game two, and though he didn’t show much during the game, he is likely going to be the guy going forward. He is the better fielding shortstop of the two, but he was rather unspectacular in the regular season, batting .243 with four home runs and 18 RBIs in 74 games. Nix went 0-3 with a strikeout and left two men on base in game two.
Regardless of who replaces Jeter in the infield, The Yankees will be worse-off for it, and the team as a whole will have to elevate their level of play both defensively and offensively to offset his absence. Losing games one and two at home to the Tigers is a problem which has been amplified by the loss of Jeter. The Yankees now travel to Detroit down two games and missing their captain, with their regular season all-stars not contributing on offense. The Yankees need a complete turnaround offensively if they are to have any hope of advancing to the World Series.
Game 3 is on Tuesday at 8:00 PM at Comerica Park.
More MLB: Wild start to 2012 MLB playoffs