The Detroit Tigers Wold Series hopes took a huge blow on Friday night in the Bronx.
With Justin Verlander, the future unanimous American League Cy Young winner on the mound, the skies opened up and after just 1-1/2 innings of baseball, ended game one of the ALDS. The field was unplayable, and the rain didn't stop. There was no way the game could have been finished. The results make things quite a bit easier for the Yankees.
After the shortened game, Joe Girardi, the Yankees manager, and CC Sabathia told the media about how disappointed they were and how they have overcome other struggles throughout the season. The only problem with what they were saying is that they get a huge leg up from the rain.
What the rainout means is that on Saturday, the game picks up right where it left off, heading into the bottom of the second inning with the score 1-1.
So what, why does it hurt the Tigers?
It hurts because it essentially eliminates any chance that Verlander will get to start in two games. Of course, technically he started this game, but the reality is that one inning pitched is not the impact that he has the possibility of making. He may be able to pitch on Sunday, but the reality is that he probably won't pitch until Monday, meaning the Tigers could easily be down 2-0, and missed out on their best chance to take a game at Yankee Stadium, something nearly required of a five game series.
Losing Verlander isn't something that can be overstated. The guy flirted with win records that have stood for nearly 30 years. Winning 20 games in a season is remarkable, something many of the great pitchers never do. Winning in the mid-20's is impossible.
It sounds like complaining, but the Yankees and Major League Baseball continue to point back to the fact that the forecast said it wouldn't last long, so they started the game. If I were a member of the Tigers' front office or wearing a Tiger uniform, that would be a pretty pathetic excuse.
Everyone knows that in those stadiums they have all of their own weather trackers. They have equipment that is equal to what they have at the Weather Channel. To say that they didn't know that the rain was going to continue all night seems like a big stretch.
Even if the forecast suggested that there might be a little rain early, as the game got closer to first pitch, the satellites had to have shown that it was going to hang around much longer than expected.
Call it a conspiracy theory, but if the Yankees had any say in it, it would make perfect sense that they would want to try and play. Any member of the Yankees would be hoping that the game would start and then the heavens would open up and dump rain so hard that they couldn't continue.
Taking nothing away from Doug Fister, the Tigers No. 2 pitcher, he is no Verlander. The rain worked out perfectly for the Yankees, it eliminated the best chance for the Tigers to take a huge edge in the series by winning game one away from their home park. Now, they have to hope for some good luck and then choose when the best chance for Verlander to make an impact will be.
It is something that Major League Baseball should have taken into account. It would have been much easier to simply eliminate the off-day and call the game before the rain even started. That way, the series can truly be a representation of the two teams, and give both teams, who have worked so hard to get through their seasons successfully, to show why they deserve to move on.
Instead, the chance was taken to start the game and Major League Baseball looks bad, and the Tigers start in a hole.