The New York Yankees are done. It is highly unlikely that they will come back from two games down to defeat the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 AL Championship Series. There is still a ton of baseball to play, but looking at the way New York is playing and what lays ahead this series looks over.
The Yankees fell behind by losing their first two games in New York. Now they must face Tigers ace Justin Verlander in game three on Tuesday. New York manager Joe Girardi knows that his team must win so will send C.C. Sabathia to the mound on three days rest. It is do or die time for the Yankees and saving Sabathia for game four will not do New York any good.
If the Yankees were to win game three with Sabathia there is a good chance that they can turn the series around. However, Detroit has to feel good about its chances with two games under their belt and Verlander set up to pitch twice.
Two game deficits have been overcome many times by teams. The Yankees have done it often. They can do it in this series. However, the teams that have done it did not experience a hitting slump like the one New York is going through.
The Yankees are not hitting at all. Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Raul Ibanez have been consistent at the plate, but no one else has. Alex Rodriguez is the obvious man in the order not hitting, but he has plenty of company. Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, and Robinson Cano have done little or nothing at the plate. When Cano and Rodriguez are in the lineup it is almost like having two pitchers hitting back to back.
There is nothing worse than a team batting slump in October. As each batter fails to get it done the pressure mounts. Guys get so tense that they grip the bat hard enough to create sawdust. Each man comes to the plate trying to make up for their last at bat and the teammate who just made an out. The longer the slump goes the worse it gets.
New York is experiencing this right now. An injury to Jeter does not help. All through the postseason he has been trying to settle his teammates down. At the same time, Jeter has been leading by example with a clutch base hit or walk. Now he is out with a fractured ankle and his teammates must do it themselves.
The Tigers do not have a great pitching staff, but there is no reason to believe that New York will get hot at the plate before this series is over. Verlander will shut them down Tuesday and make matters even worse. Without the ability to score runs the Yankees can’t come back.
It looks like only a matter of time before New York’s 2012 season will be over.