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Could rain help Tigers beat Yanks again?

Posted on: September 30, 2011 11:49 pm
NEW YORK -- Yankees and Tigers in the playoffs, and rain in the Bronx.

Last time, it helped the Tigers. In fact, in 2006, the Tigers were convinced that a Game 2 rainout in the Bronx turned the series in their favor.

This time, they're not so sure.

"That was different," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Friday night. "We'd already lost a game."

It was different. But it's possible to see this rainout as helping the Tigers, too.

The biggest effect of Friday's postponement, which came after 1 1/2 innings had been played with the score 1-1, is that aces Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia will most likely pitch just one more time each in the series. Both are expected to start Monday, and with Game 5 scheduled for Thursday, neither could come back for it, barring a lot more rain.

"With this team, it lines up well," Verlander contended Friday. "We have four starters ready to go."

The Yankees had planned to use just three starters in the series, with Sabathia pitching Game 4 and Ivan Nova coming back in Game 5. With the rain Friday, manager Joe Girardi said he would use Nova in the continuation of Game 1 on Saturday, with Freddy Garcia starting Game 2, now on Sunday.

Girardi didn't announce his rotation beyond that, but with games now scheduled on four consecutive days, it almost certainly means the Yankees will now use four starters. That likely means a start for A.J. Burnett.

In that case, the matchups for the rest of the series would be Nova and Doug Fister in the resumption of Game 1 Saturday, Garcia and Max Scherzer in Game 2 Sunday, Sabathia and Verlander in Game 3 Monday in Detroit, Burnett and Rick Porcello in Game 4 Tuesday, and Nova and Fister in Game 5.

First, baseball needs to get the next two games in, with rain possible both Saturday and Sunday in New York. Baseball officials were optimistic, but they had also been optimistic that Friday's game could be played.

Instead, rain began in the bottom of the first, and got heavier in the top of the second.

"I couldn't see anything," said Tiger catcher Alex Avila, who struck out against Sabathia in the second.

"I was just hoping he'd throw a ball," said Ryan Raburn, who took strike three. "He's tough enough to hit when it isn't raining."

At that point, officials called for the tarp, and eventually the game was called. Under a rule instituted after the 2008 World Series fiasco in Philadelphia, the game is picked up from that point, rather than re-started.

"Hopefully Doug [Fister] comes in and finishes the no-hitter," quipped Verlander, who gave up a run but not a hit in the first inning.

Verlander said he'd be comfortable pitching Sunday, but that even then, he would get only one start in the series, since he wouldn't come back on short rest (in Game 5).

"I think short rest after [Friday] might be asking too much," he said. "Fortunately, I have a manager who looks not only at the present but the future, too."

Verlander remembers 2006, because he pitched Game 2, which was played on a Thursday afternoon after originally being scheduled for Wednesday night. The Tigers believed that the Yankees were given more information quicker than they were, and that Yankee players were on the way home before the Tigers were told that the game had been called.

"I think that kind of rubbed us the wrong way," Verlander said. "I was out there warming up [on the Wednesday night], and I was the only one out there. This is a little different situation.

"This isn't what either side wanted."

In 2006, the Tigers used the rainout, and the hint of disrespect, as something of a rallying cry. Friday night, they felt that they'd been treated fairly by everyone but Mother Nature.

"This will be fine for us," Verlander said.

But maybe not as fine as in 2006.


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Since: Oct 21, 2011
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Since: Oct 7, 2011
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Could rain help Tigers beat Yanks again?

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Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: October 2, 2011 7:11 pm

Could rain help Tigers beat Yanks again?

I give the Yanks props for game 1 -- Fister was pitching great and then hung an 0-2 curve to Gardner with 2 outs and the flood gates opened after that.  Still boggled how Leyland pulls Fister and puts in a right handed pitcher to face Cano.  Oh well.  

Anyways -- out of curiousity -- Those Yankee fans who said Detroit had nothing after Verlander -- How is it Scherzer no hit the Yankees thru 5 and shut them out thru 6????  Also boggled by Leyland putting in Valverde in a non-save situation again, as he has been absolutely HORRENDOUS in those spots and today was no different.

Detroit still comes home with a split and Verlander to start in game 3 at home.  I would take that ALL DAY LONG!!!!!


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