Rain Spoils Game One of ALDS

Rain washes out Game One after an inning and a half, throwing series into chaos

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bruce Beck caught up with Mark Teixeira, Russell Martin and Derek Jeter moments after Game One of the ALDS was suspended due to rain. The game will resume, with the score tied at 1 in the bottom of the second inning, at 8:37 p.m. Saturday. (Published Saturday, Oct 1, 2011)

    It might be time for the wizards at Major League Baseball to invest in one of those weather radars that all the kids are using. 

    Weather forecasts for Saturday are only slightly better than Friday -- meaning there may be game delays as scattered rain passes through. Either way, it wont be pleasant for players or fans, with tempuratures dropping to the mid-50s. 

    The Yankees and Tigers got all of nine outs into Friday night's Game One of the American League Division Series before heavy rains forced umpires to call a delay and bring the tarp out on the field.

    If things had ended there, the only question you'd have to ask is whether MLB is really so craven for money and ratings that they ignored rain in the forecast so they could play at night in New York — instead of scheduling the game during a beautiful day while giving the Rangers and Rays the night slot.

    We know the answer to that question, but no one but Bud Selig knows what was going on when they decided to take the tarp off the field just before it started seriously pouring. After a delay that was much too long, given clear forecasts of rain straight through the morning, they finally called the game and announced that it would resume on Saturday at the point when it was suspended.

    That means the game will pick up in the bottom of the second with the score tied at 1-1, but without the two aces on the mound. Both Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia will have to return to pitch another day while projected Game Two starters Doug Fister and Ivan Nova pick things up when the game gets back underway.

    What happens beyond that point is anyone's guess, but you'd be making a pretty good one if you guessed that A.J. Burnett will now get a start in the postseason. Game Two will now be played at 3:07 p.m. on Sunday, which means that there's no off-day and that the Yankees will be forced to use a fourth starter.

    That's either Burnett, who is on the roster to be an emergency starter (and this qualifies), or Phil Hughes, who has been hampered by a back injury of late. It is conceivable that Sabathia could come back on Monday -- Joe Girardi said he isn't going to come back on Sunday for Game Two, Jim Leyland said Verlander will start Monday -- but there's not much chance either guy can pitch twice in the series thanks to this rainout.

    The complexion of the entire series changes as a result, and it is not a change for the better. We were robbed of a chance to see two of the best pitchers in the game work their magic for no reason other than that MLB ignored a forecast that made it pretty clear starting the game earlier was the only way to get it in.

    Ratings trumped common sense, and now the Yankees and Tigers will have to scramble for the next four days to make up for it.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.