The Detroit Tigers didn't win the American League pennant Wednesday night. But strategically speaking, they won the rainout.
When Major League Baseball postponed Game 4 until Thursday, the Tigers benefited in two ways: CC Sabathia will no longer be available to pitch a potential Game 7 for the New York Yankees, and Detroit reliever Phil Coke -- who temporarily ascended to the closer's role amid Jose Valverde's struggles -- should be available to pitch in Game 4. (Tigers manager Jim Leyland had said Coke would be off Wednesday, after closing back-to-back games.)
MLB postponed Game 4 because the forecast left doubt concerning the potential to play nine innings, under the rule that postseason games must be played to completion; heavy rain hit downtown Detroit in what would have been the middle innings.
It was a sharp contrast to last postseason, when two Justin Verlander starts -- which both became Detroit losses -- were interrupted by rain.
Apart from speculation about the weather...