LOS ANGELES -- Just moments after Andy Pettitte declared his belief in the 2013 Yankees' ability to make it to the playoffs despite being injury-depleted and offensively challenged, Derek Jeter, Pettitte's teammate on five World Series championship teams, said, in essence, not so fast.
"It's too early to be talking about that," the always-pragmatic Jeter said after the Yankees had lost to the Dodgers, 3-2, on Mark Ellis' ninth-inning RBI single off Shawn Kelley. "We've got to go one day at a time. I don't think about playoffs. We lost a tough one today; we've got to win tomorrow. That's the bottom line. It's way too early to be talking about playoffs."
Running with what Joe Girardi called "a governor" on his internal mechanism to protect his still-recovering right quad, Jeter went 0-for-4, with four groundouts in his second start since coming off the disabled list on Sunday. "It's tough," he admitted. "You try to make a conscious effort to not do anything stupid, but it's difficult when your natural reaction is to run as hard as you can, and you can't."
Jeter said he hears "little whispers" in his head on every at-bat reminding him to take it easy down the line, whispers that he soon will start ignoring.
"I won't tell them, I'll probably just do it," Jeter said of his return to full-speed running. "I feel weird talking about it because I've never done it, but that won't last long. I'll just do it."
In fairness to Jeter, he had no chance on his first three groundouts but it certainly looked as if he might have beaten out the last one, a bouncer up the middle that Hanley Ramirez made a diving stop on. "Tell Hanley I got that beat usually," he said.
• Playing before his former agent, Scott Boras, and his new agent, Jay Z, who were seated just yards apart in the front row, Robinson Cano had a miserable night at the plate, singling in the first inning but striking out in two of his last three at-bats, including once with a runner on second.
• Shawn Kelley, who has been excellent in the role that used to belong to Joba Chamberlain, took his first loss of the season, but he was victimized by a soft line drive just over Jeter's head set up two pitches earlier by a stolen base by Andre Ethier that might have been a caught stealing had Cano been able to handle Chris Stewart's one-hop throw to second.