2011 MLB Playoffs: What to Make of the Yankees vs. Tigers Game 1 Rainout?October 1, 2011
Is it me, or does this look like deja vu all over again with the Yankees and Tigers?
For those newer baseball fans who might not know what I am talking about, let me bring you back.
Back in the 2006 ALDS, the Yankees won Game 1 over the Tigers 8-4, took an early 1-0 lead and they looked strong to take a 2-0 lead the next night.
There was only one problem. On October 4, Game 2 between the Yankees and Tigers got rained out at the Bronx.
Looking back to five years ago, many fans and people thought that with the rainout, it let the Tigers re-group and killed the Yankees' momentum.
So the Yankees and Tigers got together the following day for an early game for Game 2, and the Yankees looked a little sluggish.
The Tigers got to Mike Mussina, and eventually stole Game 2 from the Yankees with a 4-3 win and took the series back to Detroit ted at 1-1.
With the series now back in Detroit and at Comerica Park, the Yankees offense got shut down by Kenny Rogers and Jeremy Bonderman and the Tigers knocked out the No. 1 seed Yankees in the ALDS, 3-1.
The Tigers used the momentum of beating the Yankees to beat the Oakland A's in the ALCS and advanced to the World Series.
Fast forward five years later to the 2011 ALDS and Game 1.
The premier pitching matchup was set with CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander.
Early on, Sabathia allowed a solo home run to Delmon Young, but that was it, as he struck out four batters through two innings.
Verlander on the other hand, looked really off early on, as he walked two and allowed a run on an RBI ground-out to Alex Rodriguez, which scored Derek Jeter and made the game 1-1.
Verlander escaped having a rough first inning, throwing 25 pitches with two walks and only one strikeout, which was dropped by Alex Avila, which got Derek Jeter to first base safely.
After Sabathia had a much stronger second inning, the game never got going again as they put the tarps on the field around 9:10 p.m. and the game sat in a delay until MLB executive Joe Torre announced on TBS that the game was postponed.
Game 1 will resume on Saturday night at 8:37 p.m., while Game 2 will take place on Sunday at 3:07 p.m., a day that was supposed to be an off-day and used for traveling.
This is, of course, if the weather permits the game to resume tomorrow night because rain is still in the forecast.
Did the rain help the Tigers and allow Verlander to escape what could have been a bad outing?
And did the rain hurt the Yankees and a chance to have a quality outing from Sabathia?
More than likely, it looks like Ivan Nova will start for the Yankees and Doug Fister will start for the Tigers.
Nova and Fister were originally scheduled to start Game 2, but because of the rainout, they will be moved up to pitch on Saturday.
With the rainout, it takes the two aces out and moves them potentially to Game 3, which would be back in Detroit.
Of course, Joe Girardi could change his mind and pitch Sabathia in Game 2 instead of Freddy Garcia, but for right now, Garcia is the expected starter for the Yankees in Game 2.
One thing is for certain after the attempted Game 1 on Friday; the series has turned into one huge mess.
With the weather and the rain, who knows if and when Game 1 will even resume and it's caused a lot of chaos and uncertainty with the Yankees starting pitching rotation.
Can the Yankees rebound from the rainout and get re-focused when the game resumes?
Or will the rainout be a problem for the Yankees like it was in 2006 and cause them to lose momentum against Detroit?
This Yankees team is full of veterans in the playoffs, so you would normally think they should be fine picking up where they left off.
But, as we have learned early on with the postseason, nothing is for certain. Nobody ever expected Game 1 to get rained out and postponed during the second inning.
But, hey, that's Mother Nature being unpredictable at her best.
So now, we all wait for Game 1 to be picked up, hopefully, on Saturday, with a lot of questions and concerns.
Will the postponing have any damaging effects on the Yankees or Tigers?
Will Sabathia and Verlander be able to come back quicker than expected in this series?
Will Girardi or Jim Leyland even allow it?
And most importantly, will Mother Nature be nice to the baseball world and allow the ALDS to resume as expected?
All we can do now as fans, is sit tight and wait for, hopefully, at least one more night.
Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.