Without their captain, the Yankees looked lost.
The punchless Bronx Bombers failed to score a run in Sunday's 3-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers, their first game without their leader, Derek Jeter, who is out for the rest of the postseason with his left ankle broken in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
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Alex Rodriguez, who was 1-for-4 in Sunday's loss, was asked whether he had spoken to Jeter since the injury.
"Yeah, and I'm going to call him now," Rodriguez said. "He's obviously devastated and down."
The Yankees' quest for a 28th World Series crown took a dramatic turn when the team's heart and soul suffered the injury in the 12th inning. It came after a stirring ninth-inning rally that was capped by another heroic home run by Raul Ibañez.
"He's such a huge part of this team," Ibañez said. "But we have to pull together."
Jeter, trying to field a ground ball, collapsed and could not get up. He had to be helped off by manager Joe Girardi and the team's trainer.
"When Derek Jeter needs help to get off the field," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said, "you know it's bad."
It was the worst possible news for the Yankees, who announced Sunday that Jeter had a CT scan and MRI that confirmed the ankle was broken. He will travel to Charlotte, N.C., in the coming days to see Dr. Robert Anderson, a foot and ankle specialist. Jeter, who did not attend Sunday's game, is on crutches and will not travel with the team to Detroit.
Jeter, 38, has been to the playoffs in 16 of his 17 seasons as the Yankees' starting shortstop and has won five World Series championships.
Girardi said surgery was still a possibility, but Jeter would still be expected to be ready for spring training in February. But how will the Yankees cope now?
"It's terrible," Andy Pettitte said. "We've got to win this series. Somebody will have to step in and fill that spot."
Filling in for Jeter at shortstop Sunday was Jayson Nix, who went 0-for-3.
"I don't think it has to be said I'm not going to replace him," Nix said. "But the bottom line is somebody's got to step up and we've got to fill that role and move on."
Girardi said his message to the team before Sunday's game was that the Jeter injury is yet another obstacle to be overcome -- just like the season-ending injury to closer Mariano Rivera May 3 in Kansas City or losing Pettitte and CC Sabathia to the disabled list within a 24-hour stretch in late June.
"I think the guys want to do it for him," Girardi said. "I really do."