It's come to this: The most storied team in Major League Baseball history now must try to find inspiration from one of its former New York neighbors if it wants to stay alive in the 2012 playoffs.
The New York Yankees are in a 2-0 hole in the American League Championship Series after the Detroit Tigers shut them down twice at Yankee Stadium, winning Game 1 6-4 in 12 innings on Saturday, Oct. 12, and coming back with a 3-0 victory in Game 2 on Sunday, Oct. 13.
Yankee fans thought they had seen the worst of it after New York managed to advance past the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Division Series by a 3-2 margin despite hitting just .211 and scoring 16 runs in the series.
The Yankees beat the Orioles because as bad as the New York bats were, their counterparts from Baltimore were worse. The O's hit just .187 in the five-game series and scored only 10 runs.
Then there was the ALCS.
Through the first two games, the Yankees have found a way to be worse at the plate. New York is hitting .192 in the first two games of the series and has scored four runs - all of those coming in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 1.
Detroit, meanwhile, is putting up more of a fight at the plate. The Tigers are hitting .271 as a team and have scored nine runs, figures that are downright Ruthian when compared to the punchless Yanks.
Save for Jose Valverde, the Yankee offense has made every Detroit pitcher look like a future Hall of Famer. New York lit up the embattled Tiger closer for four runs-including a pair of two-run home runs by Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez-in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 1.
As for the rest of the Detroit staff, the Yankee attack (and this term is used very, very loosely) has made Anibal Sanchez look like Tom Seaver and Doug Fister became the very embodiment of Jim Palmer. Out of the bullpen, the Tigers came at the Bombers with Carl Hubbell (Phil Coke), Lefty Grove (Drew Smyly), Don Drysdale (Octavio Dotel) and Juan Marichal (Joaquin Benoit).
Valverde allowed four runs on three hits while walking one and striking out two in his two-thirds of an inning Saturday night. The rest of the Tiger staff has surrendered 12 hits and zero runs while striking out 18 and walking eight. That's over 20.1 innings. Yikes.
No team in the history of Major League Baseball has ever come back to win a seven-game series after losing the first two games at home. So the Yankees have that going for them. Perhaps, though, the Bronx Bombers can draw some inspiration from their former roommates at the old Polo Grounds.
The San Francisco Giants were once the New York Giants and the Giants and Yankees shared the same home field for 10 seasons, from 1913-22.
The Giants made a little history in the Division Series, coming back to beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 after losing the first two games of the series at their home park. It was the first time in MLB history a team had pulled off that feat.
The odds against the Yankees are long indeed. But they've witness history being made just last week by the Giants and they've also been on the wrong side of history when the Boston Red Sox bounced back from a 3-0 deficit to win the 2004 ALCS.
Phil Watson was a writer and editor for several daily newspapers in the U.S. for more than 20 years and is a longtime New York Yankee fan.