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Yanks Short Hops: Playoffs over

Yanks Short Hops: Playoffs over

DETROIT -- Fielding the Yankees' Game 4 Division Series clinching loss to the Tigers on a short hop ...

In < 25 words ...
The Yankees looked tight, making quick outs on offense and couldn't get the essential clean innings on the other side of the ball.

Frozen moment
In a game the Yankees badly needed to take control of early, Magglio Ordonez hit Jaret Wright's second pitch of the second inning over the wall in center. Three batters later, Craig Monroe belted a two-run homer. That 3-0 lead kept expanding.

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Big number
Forty. That was how many pitches the Yankees saw from Jeremy Bonderman over the first five innings, showing just how much their vaunted offense was handled.

Big number, Part 2
Twenty. That was how many innings the Yankees went without scoring a run. The streak of futility began in the fifth inning of Game 2 and didn't end until the seventh inning of Game 4.

Big number, Part 3
One. That was how many extra-base hits the Yankees had in Game 4.

Game balls (out of five)
Robinson Cano, one. The second baseman prevented the Yankees from the ultimate indignity when he snapped Bonderman's perfect game attempt by leading off the sixth with a single up the middle.

Sense of October
When the Yankees fell behind so swiftly, it ruined the opportunity to keep the Comerica Park crowd quiet. The Tigers fed off their jubilant fans while the Yankees seemed to get swallowed up by it.

Lines of the Game
Hitting
Gary Sheffield

4 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI, 2 K
Comment: The fearsome slugger never could get his swing on track, going 1-for-12 in the series.

Pitching
Jaret Wright

2 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HR
Comment: Admittedly, Wright, an inconsistent pitcher all year, was put in a tough spot. But any way you look at it, he didn't come through. Wright gave up two long balls early and was in the shower before the third inning was over.

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Next step
As great an offense as the Yankees had during the regular season, it was once again proved that teams which rely too heavily on their bats don't survive in the postseason. General manager Brian Cashman will have to go back to the drawing board and piece together a team better suited to win in October.

The last word
"We're very frustrated. We were expecting to win a world championship when we showed up for Spring Training. You know, a couple of days ago we were even talking about how great our offense was rolling after that first game. Three days later, it's gone." -- Johnny Damon, on the Yankees' playoff exit

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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