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Rain forces suspension of Yanks-Tigers opener

CC Sabathia starts Game 1 of the Yankees-Tigers series but won’t be on the mound when play resumes tonight.

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CC Sabathia starts Game 1 of the Yankees-Tigers series but won’t be on the mound when play resumes tonight.

NEW YORK — Game 1 between the Tigers and Yankees was suspended because of rain Friday, wiping out the ace of each pitching staff for a few days.

The score was 1-1 entering the bottom of the second inning — Delmon Young homered for the Tigers, and Alex Rodriguez had an RBI groundout in the first — when play was halted. According to a rule adopted two years ago, the game is not postponed. Instead, it will pick up tonight at the point of suspension, weather permitting.

Game 2 was moved back to Sunday, and the off day before Game 3 was eliminated.

Justin Verlander started for Detroit against CC Sabathia in an anticipated matchup between two of the game's best pitchers. Now both likely will be limited to one start even if the best-of-five series goes the distance.

"Just had a nice bullpen (session) in front of half of America," Verlander said. "It was a little disappointing."

Said Sabathia: "It's definitely disappointing. It looked like it was going to be a good game."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said rookie Ivan Nova will be on the mound when the game resumes. He had been set to go in Game 2. Freddy Garcia will now get the ball in the second game instead of Game 3, Girardi said.

But Sabathia said he would ask Girardi to start Sunday.

"I want the ball as much as possible," he said.

Doug Fister, the Tigers' scheduled starter for Game 2, will pitch when Game 1 resumes. Max Scherzer was moved up from Game 3 to Game 2, and Verlander will start Game 3.

"This is not a big deal. Everybody does the best they can," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "No sense getting excited. It's the way it is. I think when a manager makes a big deal out of something like that, it affects the players. It rained; so what?"

The Tigers fielded a lineup Friday stacked with right-handed hitters against the left-handed Sabathia. Now that group has to face the right-handed Nova.

"That's the one little dilemma probably, but it will work out," Leyland said. "Obviously, I'm not going to start pulling guys out."

The Yankees had nine games postponed, most in the majors, during the regular season, and 13 others delayed due to weather.

"We've been through this all year long," Girardi said. "It's not what either club wanted. Both clubs have to deal with it. The one thing I probably learned as much as any other, you cannot fight Mother Nature."

Major League Baseball consulted three weather services Friday before deciding to start the game.

"We certainly were not going to start a game if we had a forecast of heavy rain," MLB executive Joe Torre said, "whether it was CC or Justin or two other guys, because it certainly isn't fair to either club. Our forecast was light, intermittent showers, nothing that was threatening except until late. Obviously, that forecast changed, and we came up with the result that we did."

Yankees vs. Tigers

Tonight, 8:37: Resumption of Game 1 with the score 1-1 entering the bottom of the second inning.

Sunday, 3:07: Tigers (Scherzer, 15-9, 4.43) at Yankees (Garcia 12-8, 3.62)

Monday, 8:07: Yankees (TBA) at Tigers (Verlander, 24-5, 2.40)

Tuesday, TBA: Yankees (TBA) at Tigers (TBA) *

Thursday, TBA: Tigers (TBA) at Yankees (TBA) *

All games on TBS except Game 2, which is on TNT

* If necessary

Rain forces suspension of Yanks-Tigers opener 09/30/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 1, 2011 5:54pm]
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