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Yankees shut out by Tigers in ALCS Game 2

Mark Teixeira looks on after being left on

Mark Teixeira looks on after being left on base in the first inning of Game 2 of the ALCS. (Oct. 14, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Even with Derek Jeter this postseason, the Yankees' offense produced next to nothing.

Without him?

You might want to find something else to do Saturday night, when ALCS Game 6 is scheduled. Unless the Yankees get their act together, the series is unlikely to get that far.

Anibal Sanchez was the latest opposing pitcher to look like Sandy Koufax against the increasingly dead-men-walking Yankees, holding them to three hits in seven innings in the Tigers' 3-0 victory in ALCS Game 2 in front of 47,082 irritated fans at the Stadium.

The Tigers, who own a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, will start ace Justin Verlander -- the 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner -- in Game 3 Tuesday night in Detroit against Phil Hughes.

"We'll have a chance to see what we're made of,'' Mark Teixeira said. "We're not in a great position, definitely not. I don't think anyone is happy about what happened the last two days. But we do have a day off [Monday] to kind of clear our heads, refocus on the job we have to do. Because if we don't get it done, the season's going to be over.''

"We have a lot of pride in here,'' said Nick Swisher, whose postseason slump set in motion what appeared to be a falling-out with the Bleacher Creatures yesterday. "And we're not going to go down like this.''

Hiroki Kuroda became the latest Yankees pitcher to go down to defeat because of a sad performance by the offense, which had four hits against Sanchez and former Yankee Phil Coke.

Starting a game on only three days' rest for the first time in his major-league career, Kuroda was charged with three runs and allowed five hits in 72/3 innings but was much better than that. He struck out 11, walked none, didn't allow a baserunner until the sixth and would have given up only one run if not for a badly blown call by second-base umpire Jeff Nelson.

"I know there's a lot of doubts out there, but we have tremendous confidence in this clubhouse,'' Alex Rodriguez said, adding about the off day: "Everyone needs it. Take a deep breath. And come back with blazing guns on Tuesday. This team's going to be ready . . . We've overcome a lot of adversity and answered the bell, and we'll do it again. Don't doubt us. Don't count us out.''

Said Russell Martin: "It's definitely a tough position to be in. We have to win the next game. There's no question about that.''

Looking for a spark after losing Jeter to a fractured left ankle in the 12th inning of Game 1 Sunday morning, Joe Girardi -- ejected after Nelson's blown call in the eighth inning that eventually cost the Yankees two runs -- saw more of the same, meaning zilch.

Most confounding was the bat of Robinson Cano, who finished the regular season with a 24-for-39 stretch, only to flat-line in the postseason. He is 2-for-32 this postseason, including a current 0-for-26 stretch, the longest stretch of hitless at-bats in Yankees postseason history, according to Elias.

The Yankees are hitting .192 in the ALCS after batting .211 in the ALDS and have struck out 67 times in 72 innings in seven games. Aside from their five-run ninth in ALDS Game 1 and their four-run ninth in ALCS Game 1, they have scored 11 runs in 70 innings, never more than one in an inning.

Girardi, usually optimistic in the worst of times, showed some frustration with his lineup. "We know what they are doing to us. You have to make adjustments,'' he said after spending the first part of his news conference calling for expanded replay. "They are not going to put it on a tee for us. We know that. We are more than capable of scoring runs and have done it a number of times this year. We have to make adjustments.''

He wasn't specific beyond saying: "You have to understand what teams are trying to do to you. Take what they are doing to you and make adjustments.''

It was quite a turnaround in a clubhouse that 48 hours earlier had plastic draped in front of lockers as the Yankees sprayed champagne after an ALDS Game 5 victory over the Orioles.

"It's a lot of bad stuff that happened in a short amount of time,'' Swisher said. "Losing our captain, losing these first two games at home. But hey, man, it might be nice to get out of here and get to Detroit and hopefully pull out some wins over there.''

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