Yankees lose Jeter to broken ankle as Tigers pull out Game 1

Dave Buscema, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Another logic-defying moment for Raul Ibanez and the New York Yankees eventually gave way to a 12-inning defeat to the Detroit Tigers.
Even more shocking and devastating to the Yankees than their 6-4 defeat was the season-ending loss of Yankees captain Derek Jeter. One of the greatest postseason players in the game's history was carried off the field with a broken left ankle Saturday night.
The Tigers withstood the Yankees' four-run ninth-inning rally, including Ibanez's latest game-tying home run, and answered with two runs in the 12th, with help from the second odd defensive play of the game by Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher. It added up to an American League Championship Series Game 1 victory for Detroit at Yankee Stadium.
Jeter, known for stubbornly playing through injuries, notched his 200th career postseason hit earlier in the game.
"His ankle fractured. So he's out. He's out," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They talked about a three-month recovery period. Won't jeopardize his career, but he will not be playing for us any more this year.
"It's pretty emotional. There is disappointment that we didn't win the game. There is disappointment that our captain and our leader went down for the rest of the year."
General manager Brian Cashman said he wasn't sure if surgery would be required, but he said that Jeter should be ready for spring training.
Even as Detroit celebrated a wild victory, Tigers manager Jim Leyland sounded somber as he said he was "very sorry" to hear of Jeter's injury and expressed his respect for the likely future Hall of Famer.
"When you think of postseason, you think about Derek Jeter," Leyland said.
The Yankees had to absorb not just the loss, but the unsettling sight of watching Jeter's left leg buckling as he dived to snag an infield single by Jhonny Peralta in the 12th inning. Jeter, who has battled a bone bruise on his left ankle and an injury to his left foot that kept him from playing the field one game in the AL Division Series, lay on the ground for a few moments, in obvious pain, before getting carried off the field.
"It's kind of a flashback to when Mo didn't get up," Girardi said, remembering when Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was lost for the season in April. "If he's not getting up, something's wrong. ... You could see the disappointment in his face.
Jeter, who chafes at even discussing injuries, had a similar reaction when Girardi first started to help carry him off.
"'No, do not carry me,'" Girardi remembered Jeter telling him.
The Tigers had taken a 5-4 lead on Delmon Young's third hit and third RBI of the game, this one against losing pitcher David Phelps. Swisher inexplicably missed the ball hit in the right-center gap, sticking his glove out awkwardly.
Earlier in the game, Swisher had let Young's blooper fall in to score another run when it appeared he might have a chance to catch the ball.
Andy Dirks made it 6-4 with an RBI infield single.
"I have no clue about that. I just try to have good at-bats, win ballgames," Young said of his success against the Yankees. "Maybe just being in here a couple years in a row has helped."
Drew Smyly pitched two scoreless innings to earn a wild win for the Tigers, who had appeared to wrap things up much more easily after eight innings.
But Ibanez again shocked the baseball world with one more tying home run in the ninth, his fourth homer in the ninth inning or later in the past several weeks, capping a rally from a 4-0 deficit against Jose Valverde.
The latest misstep for Valverde could cost him his job, as Leyland said there would be a discussion about the closer role.
Ichiro Suzuki, who had four hits, hit a two-run shot to pull the Yankees within 4-2 on his first career postseason home run. The homer came with out.
After a night full of wasted opportunities, the Yankees created one that seemed impossible to imagine and routine all at once. With two outs, Mark Teixeira walked and was allowed to take second base.
Ibanez then drilled an 0-1 pitch out to right for a two-run, game-tying homer.
The ball landed a few rows into the stands, as the New York fans remaining, after many had left, roared, their mouths as open as the Yankees' own players who could not believe what they had just seen.
But this time the Yankees were not able to finish the job, as they had in the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles and in the stretch run of the regular season when Ibanez saved them against the Oakland A's and Boston Red Sox in key games.
Ibanez had one more chance in the bottom of the 11th, but Smyly got him on a popup with a runner on first to end the inning. The Yankees also stranded a runner on third with two outs in the 10th, as Jeter flied out to right.
"Well, we talked about this from spring training on, I didn't know we'd have to take that many, but we've been taking punches all year," Leyland said. "If we are going to be good enough, we have to be able to take a punch. We took a right cross in the ninth inning, but we survived it."
The Tigers had appeared completely in command after eight innings.
Doug Fister survived a shaky start, aided by Peralta's defense, while Young homered and had two RBI as the Tigers took a 4-0 lead into the ninth.
The Yankees had wasted a strong start by Andy Pettitte and stranded 11 runners through eight, leaving the bases loaded three times without scoring.
Their postseason offense remained anemic, and Alex Rodriguez's return to the lineup was marked by an 0-for-3 day that ended when Eric Chavez pinch-hit for him in the eighth. Chavez also went 0-for-3.
NOTES: Hiroki Kuroda will start Game 2 for the Yankees on three days' rest, the first time he has pitched on short rest in his career. Phil Hughes will start Game 3 for New York, with ace CC Sabathia tabbed for Game 4. ... Eduardo Nunez was not on the ALCS roster before the game, but he will be added due to Jeter's injury. Girardi said he would not consider playing Rodriguez at his old shortstop position because it's been too long since he played there. ... Fister nearly left the game after getting struck on the left wrist by a liner from Cano in the second, but he was able to continue. He wound up throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings. ... Anibal Sanchez, who gave up two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings but took the loss in his only ALDS start against Oakland, will start Game 2 for Detroit.

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