DETROIT -- Fielding the Yankees' Game 3 loss to the Tigers on a short hop ...
In < 25 words ...
Randy Johnson pitched through the discomfort of a herniated disc, but not quite well enough. The mighty Yankees bats were stifled by Kenny Rogers.
Down 3-0, the Yankees were in desperate need of offense. Derek Jeter led off the top of the sixth by hammering a liner back up the middle. Before you could say single to center, Rogers deflected the laser with his glove, picked it up and threw to first, signifying that it just wasn't the Yankees' night.
Game balls (out of five)
Fourteen. That is how many consecutive innings the Yankees have failed to score, dating back to the fourth inning of Game 2.
Jorge Posada, three. With the rest of the Yankees offense in silent mode, Posada had two hits, including a double.
Randy Johnson, two. Give the Big Unit credit for pitching with a severe back injury. Still, he was far from at his best on a night the Yankees needed him to be.
Sense of October
With the game scoreless and runners at the corners with nobody out, Tigers first baseman Sean Casey squirted a ground ball toward the hole on the second base side of the diamond. It went right under the glove of Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. It wasn't an error, but in October, it's a play that needs to be made. The Tigers fed off their lively crowd and wound up producing a three-run rally.
Lines of the Game
3 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBIs
Comment: Back in the cleanup spot on a night Gary Sheffield was out of the lineup, A-Rod once again had a rough night. The All-Star third baseman is 1-for-11 in this series.
5 2/3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Comment: The Yankees needed Johnson to pitch like his vintage self. Instead, he was ordinary, allowing the Tigers to take control of the game early.
So quickly, the Yankees have gone from heavy favorites to the brink of elimination. The vaunted lineup, shut down beyond recognition since the fourth inning of Game 2, needs to step up in Game 4. Jaret Wright must control the game and keep the crowd quiet.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.