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Archive for Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tigers-Yankees playoff opener suspended by rain

October 1, 2011

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— The playoff opener between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees was suspended because of rain in the second inning Friday night, probably wiping out the ace of each pitching staff for a few days.

Justin Verlander started for Detroit against CC Sabathia in a highly anticipated matchup between two of the game’s best pitchers. The score was tied at 1 in the middle of the second inning when play was halted.

According to a rule adopted by Major League Baseball two years ago, the game is not postponed. Instead, it will pick up tonight at the point of suspension — weather permitting — with the Yankees coming to bat in the second inning. The forecast calls for rain through the late hours tonight.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said rookie Ivan Nova will start today. He had been slated to go in Game 2, which was moved back to Sunday at 3:07 p.m., a scheduled day off in the best-of-five American League series.

Freddy Garcia will now get the ball in the second game instead of Game 3, Girardi said.

Doug Fister, the Tigers’ scheduled starter for Game 2, will pitch when Game 1 resumes.

Delmon Young homered for the Tigers and Alex Rodriguez had an RBI groundout, both in the first inning. All statistics from Friday night will count.

Verlander, who won the pitching version of the Triple Crown in the AL this season, threw 25 pitches in the first inning. Rain began falling with Mark Teixeira at the plate, the eighth batter of the game.

The downpour intensified in the top of the second as Sabathia worked a perfect inning with a pair of strikeouts. Fans at Yankee Stadium scampered up the aisles for cover on the concourse, and a shimmering pool of water formed in front of home plate. Tigers second baseman Ryan Raburn shook the raindrops off his helmet tried to dry his bat by wiping it under his arm.

After the inning, all six umpires huddled with a member of the Yankee Stadium grounds crew at the mound and then called for the tarp.

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