Nick Swisher might have played his last game as a Yankee

Nick Swisher throws down his helmet after striking

Nick Swisher throws down his helmet after striking out to end the third inning during Game 4 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. (Oct. 18, 2012) (Credit: AP)

DETROIT -- The Yankees scored one run Thursday. It was driven in by Nick Swisher with a sixth-inning double. It was Swisher's second hit with runners in scoring position in his postseason career.

It also was his 36th at-bat with runners in scoring position in his postseason career.

That probably is one of the reasons why Thursday's 8-1 loss to the Tigers in Game 4 of the ALCS likely will turn out to be Swisher's final game as a Yankee.


ALCS box scores: Game 4 | Game 3 Game 2 | Game 1


Swisher, 31, will be a free agent once the World Series is over; the Yankees are not expected to bring him back. A productive regular-season player, Swisher has a career batting average of .169 in 154 postseason at-bats.

A fan favorite at Yankee Stadium for most of his time with the Yankees, Swisher may have alienated even his most ardent boosters with comments the other day about how disappointed he was when fans booed him because of his postseason struggles.

Asked after Game 4 if he wants to return to the Yankees, he said: "Absolutely."

He called his four Yankees seasons "awesome, bro. Absolutely awesome, bro. Best place in the word to play, absolutely."

About his contract, he said: "I'll talk about all that stuff later . . . There's a lot of uncertainties with a lot of guys in here and this could be the last time this team's ever together. We wanted to try and go out with a bang and do it our way, but it just didn't work out."

Swisher, who went 1-for-4 Thursday, finished this postseason 5-for-30 (.167).

"It's just a bad way to end the season," he said. "This is never an easy interview, but we've got to hold our heads high, man, because I thought we had a tremendous year. It's just tough, man. I don't know how else to explain it."

It was a tough day for the Swisher family. His wife, JoAnna Garcia, was one of the stars of the NBC series "Animal Practice." It was canceled Thursday.

Other key Yankees who will become free agents after the World Series are Ichiro Suzuki, Russell Martin, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. Pettitte and Rivera are expected to return. Rafael Soriano has a player option for $14 million; if he declines it, he will become a free agent.

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