Brad Halsey; Photo: Getty Images

After last Thursday's incredible victory over the Red Sox, the Yankees had all been given the division by everyone in the sports world. Now, one week and 5 horrible pitching performances later, that nine game lead has turned into a six game lead, and there doesn't seem to be any pitching light at the end of the tunnel.

In yesterday's 10-8 matinee loss to the Tigers, the Yankees once again dug themselves into a hole early in the game. This time the hole was just to much to dig out of.

It was Brad Halsey's turn in the rotation and he was not effective. The 23-year-old Halsey allowed seven runs (five earned), nine hits and a walk in 4 1/3 innings. He was relived by Brett Prinz who promptly gave up three more runs. It was just to much for even the potent Yankee offense to overcome.

The Yankees cut the 10-3 deficit to 10-8 in the 7th inning and in both the 8th and 9th had the tying run to the plate, but in the end they just fell short. Jeremy Bonderman, the Detroit starting pitcher, had a less than stellar game, but managed to do enough to earn his sixth win of the season.

The Yankees look for some answers tonight when they begin a four game series with baseball's hottest team, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Devil Rays have won 32 of their last 45 games. The Yankees will pitch Jose Contreras (5-3, 6.10), Javier Vasquez (9-5, 3.50), Jon Leiber (6-5, 4.97) and Mike Mussina (9-6, 5.20).