Derek Jeter took the field Sunday having played 20 straight playoff games without committing an error.
That streak ended in the middle of Game 2, at the worst possible time for the Yankees.
Jeter fielded Austin Jackson's grounder cleanly but struggled to make an accurate throw. The captain's throw bounced to first bounced in front of Mark Teixeira, who was unable to come up with the scoop. Jeter was charged with an error.
"I had no problem catching it, I just threw it low," Jeter said. "With Austin running, you don't really have much time to catch it and throw it and unfortunately, I threw it low."
Unfortunately for the Yankees, Jeter's error was the start of a nightmare inning.
Magglio Ordonez followed with a single, allowing Jackson to advance to third.
After a Delmon Young strike out, Freddy Garcia allowed back-to-back RBI singles to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. The runs (one earned, one unearned) proved costly as the Yankees' ninth-inning rally fell two runs short.
Jeter & Co. now face a difficult scenario heading back to Detroit as Tigers' ace Justin Verlander is slated to take the mound in Game 3 against CC Sabathia on Monday night.
If the Yankees fall into a 2-1 hole, they will have to rely on an an unreliable source -- A.J. Burnett -- to help them get a win in Game 4. Joe Girardiconfirmed that Burnett, who was originally banished to the bullpen, will start on Tuesday in Detroit.
"It’s going to be another challenge for us," Jeter of Game 3.
The shortstop went hitless (0-for-5) in Game 2, arguing with home plate umpire Eric Cooper on a called strike three in the seventh and striking out with a runner on in the ninth.
"Detroit’s pitching staff is as good as anyone’s and we’re going to have to find a way to score some runs," he said.