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10/01/11 12:45 AM ET
Rain suspends ALDS opener in Bronx
Game 1 tickets honored Saturday; Game 2 tickets good Sunday
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the Tigers and Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Friday night was suspended because of rain and will resume on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET in the bottom of the second inning with the score tied at 1. Game 2 has been rescheduled from Saturday night to Sunday at 3 p.m. Ivan Nova -- originally scheduled to pitch Game 2 -- will be on the hill for the Yankees when Game 1 resumes, and Doug Fister will pitch for the Tigers. New York will start Freddy Garcia in Sunday's Game 2, and Detroit will counter with Max Scherzer. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said after the game was suspended that Justin Verlander -- who started Friday's game -- will pitch Game 3 on Monday in Detroit. "Heck of a game -- it was great," Leyland quipped as he sat down at the podium for questions from the media. Tickets for Game 1 can be used only on Saturday, while tickets for Game 2 can be used only for Sunday's game. There will be no refunds or exchanges for tickets to either game. The game was suspended at 10:24 p.m. ET after a delay of one hour and 17 minutes. It began pouring in the top of the second as Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia set the side down in order, whiffing Alex Avila and Ryan Raburn to end the inning. The tarp was rushed on to the field at 9:07 p.m. as Verlander stood on the top dugout step and was taken off once again until heavy rain began to pelt the turf, ending the game for good. "We certainly were not going to [re]start the game if we had a forecast of heavy rain," said Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations. "Our forecast was for light, intermittent showers. Obviously, that forecast changed, and we came up with the result that we did." The weather report is not good for Saturday, either, Torre was told. According to The Weather Channel, there's a 60 percent chance of rain during the day and a 40 percent chance at night. The probability drops to 30 percent for Sunday. "Obviously, we're going to have to come up with a plan if we get rained out tomorrow," Torre said on Friday night. "Certainly, we hope that the forecast is going to be better than we were told about tomorrow, because the forecast originally [for] tomorrow was worse than today. So hopefully that's going to change, too." Despite some conjecture to the contrary, the Commissioner's Office announced that there would be no split doubleheaders played during the ALDS, eliminating that as an option. In the portion of the game that was played, the Tigers scored in the top of the first on Delmon Young's two-out homer. And against Verlander in the bottom of the first, the Yankees tied the score on a groundout by Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees forced Verlander to work. He threw 25 pitches in the inning, allowing Derek Jeter to reach first base safely on a wild pitch after leading off by striking out. Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira walked. Did Verlander feel comfortable at the outset? "Yes and no," the right-hander said. "I felt like I had to give a little bit extra there a lot earlier than I would have liked. That led to a couple of walks." About his availability for pitching out of the bullpen in a possible Game 5 after his Monday start, Verlander added: "I'm sure I could. I will definitely mention that to skip. I tell him I'm ready every day. I told him I could throw tomorrow if he wanted me to, but obviously, that's not going to happen." Sabathia threw 27 pitches and was ruled out of starts in the next two games by Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who didn't commit to any pitching plans beyond Sunday. As it stands now, the teams will play the first four games without benefit of a travel day. Game 4, if necessary, is slated for Tuesday in Detroit. There is an off-day scheduled for Wednesday before a possible Game 5 back in New York on Thursday. "You're asking an awful lot," Girardi said about coming back quickly with Sabathia. "And the thing is, when CC goes out there, you want a rested CC and a sharp CC. You're talking about a lot of pitching. It's not early in the year." Sabathia said he would lobby Girardi to get back in there sooner during the weekend. He'd like to start again on Sunday, getting the chance to still pitch twice in the series if it reaches five games. "I want the ball as much as possible," Sabathia said. "But we'll just have to wait and see. I'm confident in our guys. Nova has had a great year. Freddy has pitched well. I don't want to sit here and say, 'If I don't pitch, we can't win,' because we've been doing it all year." Once Sabathia struck out Raburn for the third out in the second, the Yankee Stadium grounds crew began to jog out of the dugout to begin some cleanup work on the infield in the middle of the inning. They stopped when crew chief Gerry Davis and the rest of the umpires gathered on the pitcher's mound with Yankees head groundskeeper Dan Cunningham. The game was suspended based on a rule change after the 2008 World Series. Game 5 between the Rays and Phillies at Philadelphia was stopped amid a downpour after the top of the sixth with the score tied at 2. Commissioner Bud Selig suspended the game by edict, and it concluded two days later with the Phillies winning, 4-3, to lock up their second World Series title. That rule now states that when all postseason games are suspended they will resume at the point of termination no matter the score or inning and be played to conclusion. That rule was implemented by the owners in January 2009. This is the first time this rule has been invoked since then.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.