Max Scherzer is a very promising young pitcher. He's not 1999 Pedro Martinez, however, something the Yankees made him look like in a 4-0 loss at Comerica Park on Wednesday.
Scherzer toyed with the Yankees over eight shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing just four hits to improve to 5-0 on the season. Scherzer consistently got ahead of hitters, showcasing a lively fastball and good changeup to keep the Yankees clueless throughout.
Things got worse for the Bombers in the eighth, when Derek Jeter exited the game with a right hip injury. Joe Girardi said the shortstop is day-to-day, and with a day game tomorrow, it's likely we've seen the last of him in Detroit.
Freddy Garcia (1-2) kept the Yankees in the game with a respectable seven-plus inning effort, but his margin for error was non-existent. Mark Teixeira's fourth-inning double represented New York's lone extra-base hit.
"Freddy pitched a pretty good ballgame, he gave us a chance to win," Girardi said.
Magglio Ordonez had the biggest blow of the game, connecting on a two-run homer off Garcia that capped a three-run Detroit third.
After the inning, Garcia and Francisco Cervelli appeared to have words in the Yankee dugout, possibly over the pitch selection to Ordonez.
"I'm not sure, I didn't see that," Girardi said.
The Yankees mounted only one serious threat, putting runners on first and second against a tiring Scherzer to start the eighth. But Jeter popped out to right before Curtis Granderson wrapped into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Jeter grimaced as he exited the box, and was replaced by Eduardo Nunez in the bottom of the eighth.
"His right hip seemed to be grabbing at him," Girardi said. "He'll be day-to-day. He told me it was bothering him."
Jeter, as you could expect, downplayed the injury. Actually, he denied it was even an injury at all. Clearly, Derek Jeter is a liar.
"It's not the first time it's happened, it's really not an issue," Jeter said. "I didn't do it on a particular play. ... It's really not a big deal."
Jeter expects to be in the lineup in the finale.
The Yankees will attempt to split the series tomorrow when A.J. Burnett starts opposite Rick Porcello. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET.
For those of you worried that the Yankees are leaning too heavily on the long ball, this series has built your argument. Playing in spacious Comerica Park, the homer-leaning Yankees have batted .237 with a .130 average with runners in scoring position. They've struck out 27 times, while drawing just six walks.
- New York has now dropped two straight to fall to 17-11 on the season.
- A-Rod, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner combined to go 0-for-16 with seven strikeouts.
- The Rays fell, 3-2, at home to the Blue Jays, keeping the Yankees two games ahead of the pack in the AL East.
- Rodriguez is struggling ... real bad. He's 5-for-43 (.118) since hitting his grand slam on April 23 in Baltimore. Curiously, he hasn't drawn a walk in nine games. He called his situation a "work in progress." Aren't we all, Alex. Aren't we all.
- Silver lining? Bin Laden: Still missing large portion of skull.
Dan Hanzus is a contributing writer to Pinstripe Alley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @danhanzus.