Game 1 again: Different but not disturbing

The New York Yankees take batting practice before

The New York Yankees take batting practice before they play the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the ALDS. (Oct. 1, 2011) (Credit: Getty Images)

It was a little weird from the start at Yankee Stadium last night.

Lineups were announced, but there was no national anthem. The game began in the bottom of the second inning. The first pitcher for both teams technically was a reliever, not a starter.

The Bleacher Creatures did their usual roll call in which they chanted the names of the Yankees' defensive players and received waves in return. But they did it in the top of the third inning, not the top of the first.

Fans streamed into the stadium to re-use their Game 1 tickets. Because tickets are scanned nowadays instead of torn, there's no such thing as a rain check. Like subway tokens, afternoon World Series games and $3 beers, rain checks are a thing of the past.

Twenty-three hours and 29 minutes after CC Sabathia threw the last pitch of Friday's portion of Game 1 of the ALDS, Doug Fister of the Tigers threw the next one to Jorge Posada.

The good news? It wasn't raining. It had rained most of the late afternoon and evening, ending the Tigers' batting practice early and bringing the tarp onto the infield. The tarp has been on the field so many times this season that it's amazing the Yankees haven't sold advertising on it.

The rain stopped and the grounds crew removed the tarp about an hour before game time -- or, to be more precise, game resumption time. It was 55 degrees at first pitch -- 15 degrees colder than when the game started Friday -- but at least baseball was being played again.

The Yankees have endured so much rain this season that they are somewhat used to it. They have had 23 games affected by weather and a major league-high nine postponements.

Under regular-season rules, Game 1 would have been postponement No. 10 because it lasted only nine outs with the score tied at 1. But since commissioner Bud Selig intervened in 2008 and declared a suspended game by fiat when weather threatened the Phillies-Rays World Series, baseball has had a rule that all postseason games must be played to completion.

So you had Fister and Ivan Nova, the Game 2 starters- turned-Game 1 relievers, and questions about what the suspended game does to the pitching for the rest of the series and which team it hurt the most.

Short answer: Both. Neither. Sabathia and Justin Verlander each gets to start once instead of twice. A.J. Burnett probably gets Game 4 now. Other than that, it's hard to see a big advantage for either squad.

"It is what it is," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Like I said [Friday], there's no sense getting excited about it. You roll with the punches, and this is not a crisis. This is baseball. This is postseason baseball. It got delayed a little bit. It's certainly not a crisis."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi appeared even less concerned. Asked if Saturday night seemed a little "odd" to him, Girardi said it didn't. It was just a normal Saturday with a night game to him. Even if the game started Friday.

"I got a chance to take my daughter to Starbucks this morning," he said. "Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts. We hit both. I got a chance to see my son play a little football. It was a very good day."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

MLB

Related Stories

@therealarieber

advertisement | advertise on newsday