MLB - Yankees in tough after losing Jeter in the ALCS opener
By Rob Soria
Heading into their ALCS series with the Detroit Tigers, the New York Yankees knew they would have their hands full. As if dropping the opener to the Tigers in extra innings wasn't bad enough, losing their heart and soul in Derek Jeter, to a fractured left ankle, has made it almost too much to bare for Yankee fans everywhere.
Edmonton - October 14, 2012 - Heading into their ALCS series with the Detroit Tigers, the New York Yankees knew they would have their hands full. As if dropping the opener to the Tigers in extra innings wasn't bad enough, losing their heart and soul in Derek Jeter, to a fractured left ankle in the 12th inning, has made it almost too much to bare for Yankee fans everywhere.
As it stands, the likelihood of the Yankees advancing to the the 2012 World Series, looks to be nothing more than a pipe dream.
Outside of the unexpected explosion from Raul Ibanez, New York has had all of three regular position players carry their weight at the plate: Ichiro Suzuki, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter. With the Yankee captain expected to be sidelined for months, skipper Joe Girardi has little choice but to look within for someone to step forward and help lead his club...both on and off the field.
Problem being, outside of the four previously mentioned names, Girardi really has no where else to turn. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez continues to disappoint, striking out in ten of his twenty-one plate appearances, and looking his absolute worst, when his team needs him most. In the five games he has started this post-season, A-Rod has scored one run, driven in no one and left Yankee baserunners all over the base paths.
How about Robinson Cano? He has arguably been worse the Rodriguez. After knocking in three runs during the opening two games of the ALDS, Cano has gone hitless with one RBI and currently finds himself in a 0-for-22 run. Without Jeter in the lineup, the pressure on the Yanks second baseman just doubled and he hardly seems up to the task.
Outside of his Game Five homer against Baltimore, centre fielder Curtis Granderson has picked up two singles, while striking out eleven times and stranding one baserunner after another. While fellow outfielder Nick Swisher has done absolutely nothing at the dish, he has now become a liability in the outfield. His awful performance in right field cost New York dearly on Saturday night and one has to wonder, if he has mentally checked out.
There are those calling for A-Rod to be benched but his potential replacement, Eric Chavez, has gone 0-for-11 with six strikeouts in his four appearances. Options are obviously limited for Girardi but perhaps the time has come to send a message.
It's one thing to sit Rodriguez but what about everyone else? Overhaul the lineup for a game and see what happens. Bring in the likes of Jayson Nix, Eduardo Nunez and Brett Gardner. Maybe it lights a fire under a couple of guys and gets them going. With Jeter out for the rest of the playoffs, this team is going to need a spark and apparently the repeated late inning heroics of one Raul Ibanez, wasn't good enough for this bunch.
Change it up Joe...at this point, you have nothing to lose.
Rob Soria is the Edmonton Oilers' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rob was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Oilers blog - OilDrop.ca. He has been a dedicated follower of the game and its history for years but his focus remains on his hometown Edmonton Oilers. If you have questions or wish to contact Rob, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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