Rain invades ALDS, suspends Game 1

It was somehow fitting that following a regular season in which 22 Yankees games were affected by inclement weather that the postseason would, too. But the first game?

Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the Yankees and Tigers Friday night at Yankee Stadium was suspended because of rain in the middle of the second inning with the score 1-1 and will resume at the point of the suspension beginning at 8:37 Saturday night.

“We’ve been through this all year long,” Yankees manager Joe 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.”

The dream matchup of the Yankees’ CC Sabathia against the Tigers’ Justin Verlander will have to wait, perhaps to Monday night at Detroit. Girardi said that Ivan Nova will pitch Saturday night and Freddy Garcia in Game 2 Sunday. Similarly, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he will stay in rotation with Doug Fister resuming Game 1 Saturday night and Max Scherzer to start Game 2 Sunday.

There is nothing definite about when Sabathia and Verlander will work again but if so it will probably be at Comerica Park, so Yankees fans lost the marquee pairing. The break for each team is that neither Sabathia nor Verlander will start more than one game in the best-of-5 ALDS.

Sabathia struck out the first two batters before giving up a home run to Delmon Young, but the Yankees figured out a way to get a run off Verlander without a hit in the bottom half. Derek Jeter struck out but got to first base on a wild pitch. A walk to Curtis Granderson and two groundouts sent Jeter around the bases.

The change in pitchers may affect the Tigers more than the Yankees because Leyland’s lineup was set for a lefthander in Sabathia and now will oppose a righthander in Nova. Both Detroit pitchers are righthanded, so the change doesn’t affect the Yankees.

“That’s the one little dilemma probably, but it will work out,” Leyland said. “I’m going to keep my lineup in there and see how the game plays out. I’m not going to start pulling guys out and change my lineup in the bottom of the second inning. My lineup will be the same when we take the field. I do feel bad for the national audience and the fans that were here tonight. Certainly, it was really a marquee matchup. That’s a little said, but that’s the way it is.”

The only tickets valid for Saturday night’s resumed game are tickets for ALDS Home Game 1. Fans holding tickets for ALDS Home Game 2 originally scheduled for Saturday night must use them for Sunday’s game. There will be no refunds or exchanges for tickets to ALDS Home Game 1 or ALDS Home Game 2.

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