The New York Yankees begin life without Derek Jeter on Sunday when they play Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium.
Detroit won Game 1 on Saturday, but New York may have lost something far worse, as Jeter fractured his ankle and will miss the remainder of the postseason.
"It will be a three-month recovery period," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It won't threaten his career, but he won't be playing any more this season."
The Tigers grabbed the upper hand in the series on Saturday despite another meltdown from closer Jose Valverde, as Delmon Young's tie-breaking RBI double in the 12th inning helped Detroit to 6-4 win.
Valverde gave up a four-run lead in the ninth, capped by another Raul Ibanez game-tying home run. But after neither team scored in the 10th or 11th, New York's David Phelps (0-2) issued a leadoff walk to Miguel Cabrera before Prince Fielder moved the 2012 AL Triple Crown winner to second with a grounder. Young then sent a line drive that got past Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher to bring home Cabrera for a 5-4 lead.
"This is my fourth postseason so maybe having a couple of years under my belt helps to keep me calm out there," said Young, who also homered in the win.
The Tigers then added another run for the final margin.
"We've been taking punches all year," said Detroit manager Jim Leyland. "Tonight we took a big right cross, but we survived it."
The loss, though, became an afterthought for the Yankees, who will now have to get by without Jeter. Girardi compared it to when the team lost closer Mariano Rivera to a torn ACL in May.
"We have to find a way to try to get it done," Girardi said. "I think some people left us for dead when Mo went down and here we are in the ALCS."
The Tigers also spoke of Jeter in glowing terms.
"You don't want to see the captain going down like that," said Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder. "Not only is he a great player -- he's a great guy, down to earth and humble. He forces us all to play the game the way he does, running out ground balls hard every time. He's Derek Jeter. He's the man."
Cabrera has now reached base safely in all 17 career postseason games with the Tigers. His streak is the second-longest in franchise history, trailing only Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg's 18-game streak from Oct. 3, 1934 to Oct. 4, 1945.
In 42 previous ALCS matchups, the team that won Game 1 has gone on to win the pennant 25 times. New York, though, is 7-2 in series after losing Game 1 at home, while the Tigers have won all three series after claiming Game 1 on the road.
Getting the call for the Yankees in Game 2 will be righty Hiroki Kuroda, who was brilliant in his ALDS start, but will be start on short rest for the first time in his career tonight.
"This is probably the shortest rest I've had in my baseball career," Kuroda said. "At this point in the season we can't really be talking about anything but to win. I will prepare myself to win this game.
"I'm not too concerned. I prepare myself as if the next game I'm going to pitch is my last. I've always taken that approach."
He was terrific in Game 3 against the Orioles, as he gave up two runs on five hits over 8 1/3 innings, but did not factor in the decision of his team's win.
Kuroda did not get a decision in either of his two starts against the Tigers this season, but allowed just five runs in 13 1/3 innings of those outings.
Girardi likely opted to go with Kuroda rather than Phelps based on how well the Japanese hurler has performed at home, where he was 11-6 with a 2.72 ERA in 19 regular season starts.
"I don't what the secret is to my success in this ballpark," Kuroda said, "but my style of pitching is to be aggressive and that's pretty much determined how I've pitched here."
Righty Anibal Sanchez gets the call for the Tigers. Sanchez lost his ALDS start to Oakland, but pitched well, allowing two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Sanchez was hit hard by the Yanks the last time he faced them, surrendering seven runs in just three innings. He is 1-1 in two starts against them with a 7.27 ERA.
In addition to last season's ALDS, the Tigers also beat the Yankees in the first round in 2006. New York, though, took six of the 10 regular season matchups this past year.