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Missed Opportunities Abound Again in 3-1 Loss

Derek... oh, Derek. It's about time Brett Gardner became the leadoff hitter. Yes, I said it. He's obviously been huge for us in the past, but he's having a very sub-par season while GGBG gets on base more, takes more pitches (he leads the league in fact) and is much faster. What about that doesn't scream 'better leadoff hitter'?

In case you didn't see the proceedings, Jeter came to the plate in the ninth inning with the bases juiced and one out with the Yankees trailing by two. Detroit's closer, Jose Valverde, couldn't throw a strike if his life depended on it. On 2-1, Jeter swung at ball three. He swung at the next pitch too and grounded into a game-ending DP (his second of the game). Oh, he also made a throwing error on a routine play for good measure.

With all that said, the blame can be spread to all the hitters except Granderson (3-3, 2B, BB). Virtually the whole lineup has stopped hitting (0-7 with RISP) and the only reason they scratched across one run was Valverde's extreme wildness.

Who knows what the problem is? Are all the hitters slumping at the same time? Have they faced two incredible pitchers that made it impossible to score? Is it this thing about not seeing the starting pitchers before? It didn't help, of course, that A-Rod (calf) and Swisher (forearm) left the game in the sixth after injuries.

Javy Vazquez looked doomed after allowing a second-inning two-run homer and then loading the bases. He escaped but his pitch count was so high he only lasted four frames. Sergio Mitre and Kerry Wood followed with four shutout innings.

Then entered Joba who conceded a solo shot in the ninth to Miguel Cabrera that looked almost meaningless at the time - who knew Jose Valverde would lose total command of the strike zone and force home a run? 

Max Scherzer had nasty stuff: he sat in the low to mid 90s all night. His last pitch of the game (114), in the sixth inning, registered 97 mph.

Three-runs or less counter: 39, with a 10-29 record.

Play of the Game: Take one guess... Yep, DJ's game-ending GDP (-35%).

Comment of the Game: Jedi Master A-Rod... so Jeter is Judas, huh?