Yanks season ends with a whimper
By the bottom of the fourth inning Thursday, the lone piece of drama remaining in this ALCS was if the deadwoody flat-lined Yankees lineup would produce the ultimate deadwood day and get no-hit.
The Yankees avoided that indignity, but that was it. They put up little resistance in Game 4 and were swept into the offseason with an ugly 8-1 loss to the Tigers in front of a Comerica Park crowd of 42,477 that included managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner.
Steinbrenner and team president Randy Levine watched a hideous afternoon of baseball from their club. And it featured a Triple Crown of another kind -- nearly nonexistent hitting, poor fielding and lousy starting pitching.
The pair, along with general manager Brian Cashman and the personnel department, have a busy offseason ahead, with just a few of the questions to be addressed having to do with Nick Swisher, Rafael Soriano, Mariano Rivera and, of course, Alex Rodriguez.
That the Yankees failed to hit Thursday wasn't a surprise. Their offense entered the day hitting .200 with a .317 slugging percentage and .265 on-base percentage this postseason.
But the Yanks, generally a good fielding team this season, committed two errors Thursday and should have been charged with a third. And despite having their ace on the mound, they received the poorest starting pitching they've received all postseason. That's a tough combination when a team is trying to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a series.
The Yankees wound up hitting .157 in the ALCS (22-for-140), striking out 36 times in the four games, and .188 in the postseason (60-for-320), striking out 83 times in the nine games.
The Yankees never led in the ALCS, not even for an inning. They scored in only three of 39 innings against the Tigers, and scored more than one run in only one inning.
Yankees starters brought a 2.37 ERA in the 2012 postseason into ALCS Game 4, but CC Sabathia couldn't keep up the pace. Sabathia, who carried the Yankees into the ALCS with a stellar complete-game victoryto close out the ALDS, couldn't get out of the fourth inning.
Manager Joe Girardi tried to be upbeat while talking to reporters after the game. But he fought back tears at the end of the news conference, thanking them for the "privacy with his father," who died last week of Alzheimer's disease. (Newsday/amNY)