"That's why you play the games," captain Derek Jeter said after the Yankees' season came to an end in a 6-1 loss on Friday. "You don't play the games on paper. It doesn't make a difference if you have a potent lineup on paper or what you did in the regular season. You still have to play the games."
The biggest problem for the Yankees was their performance with runners in scoring position. In a word, it was dismal.
New York was 8-for-53 for a .151 average with runners in scoring position during the ALCS.
"We had some opportunities in the series," manager Joe Girardi said. "We didn't hit with runners on. And you never know exactly how much you give credit to the pitchers and how much it's your hitting. But we never seemed to get on track offensively in this series."
Even in their two victories -- Games 1 and 5 -- the Yankees were less than stellar with runners in scoring position, going 3-for-12 and 2-for-11, respectively. Still they managed to score a combined 13 runs in those games.
"Nobody wants to hear about lineouts and good at-bats, they want to hear about results," third baseman Alex Rodriguez said. "Our results just weren't good enough."
While the hitters were willing to shoulder their share of the blame, they also tipped their collective caps to a Texas pitching staff that came up with the big outs when it had to.
"I mean, you have to give some credit to their pitchers," Girardi said. "They obviously made some good pitches when they had to."
"Those guys have a job to do too and they pitched well," Jeter said. "They pitched better than our offense. We didn't get too many things going."
Despite the prodigious run total during the regular season, the Yankees ranked 16th in the Majors in batting average with runners in scoring position with a .258 mark, still far better than their .151 playoff mark.
"They really pitched well, they got us out," general manager Brian Cashman said. "Maybe sometimes we got ourselves out. The bottom line is, they did what they had to do. They executed the game plan and they performed it. We were unable to. Do I think we're better than what we showed in this series? Absolutely."
The offensive struggles during the crucial moments is certainly something that will stick with them through the offseason.
"It's one of those things where we just didn't do enough," Rodriguez said. "It's just one of those things. I'm kind of speechless."