September 30, 2011
And this, dear Stewies, is what happens when you chase television money and schedule a postseason game to start at 8:37 on a Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
There was no baseball on Friday night in the Bronx. Well, not much of it, anyway. The New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers got an inning and a half into Game 1 of their American League Division Series before a heavy rain — which was presumably on the radar before the game started — arrived. Baseball officials waited around for about an hour before suspending the game. They'll pick up where they left off at 8:37 on Saturday night and move Game 2 to Sunday afternoon at 3:07. There is now no off day before Monday's Game 3 back in Detroit and the pitching plans have now been completely altered.
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The biggest change: Justin Verlander(notes) will only pitch one game during the series while it will take an extraordinary effort from CC Sabathia(notes) to still pitch two. Both men started Friday night's game.
Here's what the expected schedule might now look like. The Tigers side (left) has already been confirmed by Jim Leyland, but the Yankees have not made any official announcement. It is being suggested that Sabathia, ever the workhorse, could come back to play Sunday so he could be ready for a possible Game 5.
Game 1 (Sat.) Doug Fister(notes) vs. Ivan Nova(notes)
Game 2 (Sun.) Max Scherzer(notes) vs. Sabathia/Garcia
Game 3 (Mon.) Verlander vs. Garcia/Sabathia
Game 4 (Tues.) Rick Porcello(notes) vs. AJ Burnett(notes)
Game 5 (Thurs.) Fister vs. Sabathia/Nova
This obviously changes the series a lot. Had the game been scheduled in the Rays-Rangers' 5:07 slot, there would have been either enough time to get the game in or wait out an extended rain delay. Now, because MLB ignored the weather radar on Friday, they've wasted the intrigue of the series' marquee pitching matchup (instead of postponing it to Saturday right off the bat) and ensured we won't be seeing their best possible product if Game 5 ends up being necessary. An unfortunate lack of foresight.
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