10/17/12 11:09 PM ET
Backs against wall, Yanks get unexpected day off
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
Game 4 of the American League Championship Series was postponed until 4:07 p.m. ET on Thursday by inclement weather, preserving the pitching matchup of New York's CC Sabathia and Detroit's Max Scherzer until then.
"I think they made the right call," catcher Russell Martin said. "This is playoff baseball. You don't want your top guys going out there and throwing like two or three innings. You want your ace to be able to go out there and not have them impact the game depending on the weather."
The Yankees still have their backs against the wall, staring at a 3-0 deficit that just one team -- the 2004 Red Sox -- has overcome in an ALCS. But getting an extra day to hit the reset button might help.
"We haven't played well to this point, so who knows?" center fielder Curtis Granderson said. "Change is always a good thing."
It was on this date in 2004, Oct. 17, that Red Sox mouthpiece Kevin Millar announced to no one in particular at Fenway Park, "Don't let us win tonight."
The Yankees, doomed to an epic collapse, didn't heed that warning.
No Yankees made quite as bold a statement as they shuffled back to their team hotel, but eyeing an afternoon date with the Tigers, they said they had been ready to take the field against Scherzer and company.
"You get wired," right fielder Nick Swisher said. "Not starting that game tonight was probably the smartest thing. Sitting in the locker room for four or five hours, just relaxing, it was good. We're all kind of in here just relaxing, trying to get that vibe back. Tomorrow's going to be a big game and we're going to be ready for it."
Second baseman Robinson Cano said that he couldn't see how the rainout would provide much of an advantage for either team.
"Both teams get the day off, so it's just an extra day," Cano said. "We'll see what happens tomorrow."
The Yankees want to take their planning one day at a time, but it's only logical to take a glance ahead.
With Sabathia preserved for the Game 4 start, the Yankees would have Andy Pettitte set to take the ball for a potential Game 5 on Friday in Detroit, losing a travel day between the Detroit and New York sets.
Game 6, with Hiroki Kuroda in line for the Yankees, would be Saturday in the Bronx. The big effect of Wednesday's washout is that Sabathia would be on just two days' rest by a potential Game 7 on Sunday.
General manager Brian Cashman said they definitively would not permit Sabathia to pitch in that game on such short rest. The Game 7 start would likely go to Phil Hughes, who said that he feels fine after leaving his Game 3 start with a stiff lower back.
"I'm not thinking that far ahead," Cashman said. "Let's just worry about tomorrow. If we take care of business tomorrow then we can worry about the next day. I want to be in a position to do that."
For now, they hope to pull open their hotel blinds in the morning and be greeted with some sunny, clear skies. The goal is to stay alive one more day, and then keep making forward progress through October.
"It doesn't matter what they throw at us," Cashman said. "We have to find a way. Tomorrow it's all about winning our next game and then we'll worry about the day after. Whatever the schedule turns out to be, it doesn't matter. We will find a way. We have no choice."