Burning Questions in the wake of the postponement of Game 1 of the ALDS between the Tigers and Yankees, rescheduled for 8:37 p.m. Saturday.
The game only lasted 1-1/2 innings before the rains set in, but did the Tigers look nervous to you?
I thought they had butterflies, yes. Austin Jackson struck out on three hittable pitches and Magglio Ordonez uncharacteristically chased a horrible pitch on his punch out.
Then, defensively, catcher Alex Avila appeared to nonchalant his throw to first base after Derek Jeter struck out, costing the Tigers a baserunner. Miguel Cabrera couldn’t bring himself to throw to second base for a sure force out, and 3B Brandon Inge seemed to have a play at the plate on Jeter but threw to first base instead.
All that, plus Justin Verlander looked less than sharp, albeit in just one inning, and he never did give up a hit.
Who would have thought that Brandon Inge would be the starting third baseman for the Tigers in Game 1 of the ALDS after he was DFA’d in late-July?
Baseball is something, isn’t it? I raised the question on “The Knee Jerks” in mid-August: what if the Tigers recall Inge before September 1 and he contributes and winds up on the playoff roster? There’d be howls.
Well, that’s exactly what happened and Inge got rewarded for his faith and his commitment to the organization. Remember the rumors that the Florida Freaking Marlins were interested in him?
OK, so I gotta ask you: which team benefits more from the rainout? Or, more accurately, which team is hurt more?
I’m thinking the Tigers got the better end of this deal, though I didn’t think so as the rain kept falling and it looked more and more like Justin Verlander’s start would be washed out—or at the very least, he’d be done for the night even if the game was resumed.
Here’s why I think the Yankees are hurt more. CC Sabathia was set to throw Game 4 on three days rest. That’s out the window. Sabathia, like Verlander, will only throw one game in this series now, instead of two. But the Tigers have Doug Fister, and the Yankees don’t. Fister gets two starts now.
I’m liking a Fister/Max Scherzer/Verlander opening trio, especially with JV pitching at home.
But other than the pitching rotation, I don’t think either team is hurt/helped by the postponement more than the other.
Contrary to what some may believe, Game 1 will be resumed from where it left off. That is, even though there will be different pitchers, the lineups stay the same. Similar question as above: will this be a factor?
Here’s where you could make the case that the Yankees have an advantage. They were going to face right-handers in Games 1 and 2, no matter what. The Tigers, on the other hand, went with a right-handed hitting lineup against the lefty Sabathia.
Now, the Tigers must keep that lineup in tact, though they’ll be facing a right-hander in Ivan Nova. This means Inge where there would normally be Wilson Betemit, and Ordonez where there may have been Andy Dirks or even Don Kelly.
But this might be a moot point, as the Delmon Young-Miguel Cabrera-Victor Martinez heart of the order plays no matter what.
Does the rainout change your prediction?
Nope. Still got the Tigers in four. It just might happen in four straight days now, that’s all.
(Come back here in the hours after every Tigers post-season game—played or not—to read me answer the “Burning Questions”)