For most of the first six games of the Yankee postseason, you sat and watched Yankee hitter after Yankee hitter shuffle back to the dugout after a pathetic at-bat before saying that they had to get hot at some point.
Sunday afternoon brought the seventh game of the playoffs and might have signaled the point to stop assuming that there's anything better in the offing for the Yankees. They turned in their worst performance yet, getting just three hits off of Anibal Sanchez in seven innings and doing nothing against Phil Coke in the final two innings of a 3-0 loss.
The main culprits remain the same ones that they have been for the entire playoff run. Robinson Cano was 0-for-4 and is now hitless in 24 at-bats in Yankee Stadium this October, Alex Rodriguez singled in the bottom of the ninth to avoid another hitless day and Curtis Granderson ended the game with his third strikeout of the day.
It wasted another excellent performance from Hiroki Kuroda, whose numbers got hurt by poor fielding, umpiring and relief work. It was a scoreless game until the seventh when Granderson failed to run down a ball in center that became a double for Quintin Berry who ultimately scored when Cano couldn't complete an easy double play to end the inning.
The Tigers scored twice more in the eighth after second base umpire Jeff Nelson (not the former Yankee pitcher) totally blew a tag play at second base that should have ended with Omar Infante out. He was called safe and the Tigers would go on to plate their runs against Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain once Kuroda was out of the game.
Kuroda deserved better, but it seems the Yankees just don't have anything to give to the pitchers who give them golden opportunities to win the game every single night. Even when they do get a rare baserunner, they waste it with inane ideas like having Raul Ibanez try to steal second base even though he runs like Raul Ibanez.
It's clear Joe Girardi has no idea how to turn this around and, frankly, that's not even a criticism. These are veteran players who have hit for years and simply stopped playing.
What is a criticism is that Girardi, who was ejected for arguing the call at second base, spent time railing against the umpires after the game when he should be excoriating the lumps that make up his lineup. He's not wrong about it being insane that there's no instant replay, but that's not why the Yankees are losing.
They're losing because they can't hit and you can't score runs when you don't hit. It's just that simple and just that painful.