Our little theme of the week has been that the Yankees are making it hard to remember that they have been a very good team so far this season.
Short of getting no-hit and then having the team bus hit a water buffalo on the way back to a hotel that burns down, you couldn't have asked for a Wednesday that better fit the theme than the one we got. The Yankees got bad injury news during the day and then played a listless, uninspiring game en route to a 4-0 loss.
We'll take the last part first since it isn't all that hard to explain what went wrong. Max Scherzer of the Tigers totally dominated a lineup that's in the throes of a serious slump, striking out nine while allowing just four hits over eight innings.
The Yankees got two runners on base just once all night and that eighth inning quasi-rally died as quickly as it started when Curtis Granderson hit into a double play. Alex Rodriguez, the poster boy for the dead bats, went 0-for-4 and has just five hits in his last 40 at-bats.
Nights like that are always frustrating, but the pain was maximized Wednesday because Freddy Garcia did a pretty solid job in pitching seven innings. Of course he did his part to make sure nothing good could come out of the night by getting into a shouting match with Francisco Cervelli in the dugout.
It is maddening to see a team with the talent of the Yankees score twice in two nights and miss countless opportunities over the last week, but it is hard to believe this is anything more than just a blip in the road. Things will get better, although problems from several spots make the ongoing struggles of guys like Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada all the more glaring.
Jeter got another hit Wednesday to keep his average right at .250 but also left the game in the eighth inning with a hip injury. It doesn't seem serious and isn't being used as an excuse for the struggles -- struggles that Jeter is finally admitting in public -- but the last thing we need to add to the Jeter aging watch is physical troubles.
We've got enough of those from Phil Hughes. The feared serious circulatory problems have been ruled out, which is good news right up until you realize that it means there's now no idea whatsoever about what's wrong with him.
He got a shot in the shoulder and there's now a six-to-eight week timetable for his return, but that seems more than a little arbitrary given his current status. Since that brings us all the way to July, it is probably easiest to just say no one is counting on Hughes for a significant role this season.
The same can't be said of Jeter or the bats, but the silver lining on the day is that we fully expect the latter to return before too much longer.