Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/18/12
The rain that poured onto Comerica Park on Wednesday night, shortly after Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between Detroit and the visiting New York Yankees was postponed by threatening weather, could wind up dampening the Yankees' parade much more than the Tigers'. And manager Joe Girardi might find himself wondering why he didn't gamble and pitch CC Sabathia on short rest Tuesday night against Justin Verlander instead of waiting that extra day -- two days, as it turned out -- to get his ace on the mound in the ALCS. The Tigers knew a band of showers, possibly heavy, was speeding toward Detroit and the start of Wednesday night's Game 4 was put on hold while they waited to see how the storm was going to develop. Major League Baseball wants to avoid weather interruptions as much as possible in postseason play, to avoid the chance of games not being played to completion and to keep managers from having to discard their starters after only a couple of innings. Putting start times on hold means the starters can't warm up. Girardi and his Detroit counterpart, Jim Leyland, both said they'd start the same pitchers on Thursday afternoon they would have on Wednesday night -- Max Scherzer trying to complete a sweep of New York for Detroit and Sabathia trying to dig his fingernails into that 3-0 hole the Yankees are in. If Sabathia wins, that forces a Game 5 on Friday, which would have been a day off. A sixth game, if necessary, is scheduled for Saturday, and if New York can come up with a three-game winning streak a Game 7 would take place Sunday. Sabathia, however, would not pitch in that game, not with only two days off (Friday and Saturday) between starts. If Sabathia had pitched on short rest against Verlander, though, he would have been available for a potential Game 7 on regular rest. With no weather interruption, he was going to make one of the two starts on short rest anyway. Now, his start Thursday is his last, at worst for the season and at best until the opening game of the World Series. Meantime, Detroit would have a rested Verlander ready to go in Game 7.
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