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  1. Shouldn’t it be “Partisan Threat of Rain,” not “Partisan Rain?” Look at the rainfall data for Detroit (admittedly the weather station is not located at the stadium), it seems like this game was delayed and then canceled by the threat of rain, not actual rain falling from the sky.

    Comment by Evan — October 18, 2012 @ 8:27 am

  2. I thought of this repercussion immediately. They’re even more toast than before.

    Of course, if you give them, say, a 55% chance when Sabathia starts and a 45% chance when he doesn’t (random numbers), their odds go from 6% to 5%.

    It’s still another problem, and if they miraculously do get to Game 7 it will certainly come into play. Although, they could probably use Sabathia for an inning in relief in a Game 7 if they wanted.

    Comment by Person — October 18, 2012 @ 8:36 am

  3. Big mistake by the Yankee brass. Improved chances of winning games three and seven right out the window. Not all that difficult to look at a 2-3 day weather forecast and realize it’s possible implications for your scheduled rotation.

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — October 18, 2012 @ 8:39 am

  4. I’ll offer one more thing about this, without any supporting evidence of it’s impact.

    Had the Tigers won game 4 last night, they would have waited 6 days before Game 1 of the WC. That’s more consecutive off-days than they’ve had since February. They’ll likely have several regardless but does this kind of thing make a difference? Has their been a study?

    Comment by brett — October 18, 2012 @ 8:47 am

  5. Eh. It only really matters if they make the longshot of coming back to tie the series.

    Comment by Nathan — October 18, 2012 @ 8:47 am

  6. At this point the Yankees would be thrilled to be confrotning the problem that Jeff identifies.

    Comment by Mel — October 18, 2012 @ 9:26 am

  7. That’s exactly what happened in 06 when they lost to the Cardinals (the 83 win Cardinals who happened to sneak into the playoffs because of league and playoff structure, sound familiar). Yes, it can make a BIG difference.

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — October 18, 2012 @ 9:27 am

  8. I know Jeff’s math is about right, but psychologically it just seems so much more likely that the Yankees could win the next three in a row than that they could beat Justin Verlander with David Phelps on the mound. This is a big blow.

    (At BP, PECOTA gave the Yankees only a 35% chance in Game 3 against Verlander with Hughes on the mound, and I’m not betting on his back being OK.)

    Comment by Fred Vincy — October 18, 2012 @ 9:51 am

  9. All this assumes that there are no further postponed games in the ALCS. Friday’s game in Detroit could easily be postponed. (It’s raining currently in downtown Detroit, but it is supposed to clear for a few hours in time for today’s late afternoon start time.)

    Also, this isn’t completely unforeseen. For example, if Saturday’s game had been scheduled for Detroit, it would have been postponed based on the weather in Detroit. Rain happens in Detroit. If the Yankees really wanted to start Sabathia on short rest, the time to do so was Game 3 instead of gambling that there wouldn’t be a rain delay for Game 4.

    Comment by Detroit Michael — October 18, 2012 @ 9:54 am

  10. This all goes back to Bud Selig’s childish need to have his precious second wild card game this year, even after the schedules were already set. The Yankees and Tigers both had to play the full five games to win their division series, but the Tigers got an off day before the ALCS, and the Yankees didn’t, meaning that they could use their ace twice on normal rest, while the best the Yankees could hope for was to use their ace on short rest once, and now with the rainout, not at all. An off day between series might not have been a bad thing for the offence either. No evidence to suggest that it would have made a difference, but it at least would have been fair.

    Comment by Ken — October 18, 2012 @ 9:56 am

  11. While it made their chances of making the World Series worse, it may have made their chances of winning the World Series if they get there better, as they can now start Sabathia 3 times, albeit on short rest two of those times. And since winning the World Series is the end goal, it may not matter whether Sabathia’s start comes in game 7 of the ALCS or game 1 of the WS, as long has he doesn’t lose a start at the end.

    Comment by Matt Hunter — October 18, 2012 @ 9:59 am

  12. The real question is, why doesn’t every stadium have a retractable roof? Then rain would be an issue…and we could have baseball year round! The Boys of Winter…

    Comment by Chris — October 18, 2012 @ 10:21 am

  13. *would not be an issue

    Comment by Chris — October 18, 2012 @ 10:22 am

  14. Let’s not kid ourselves. The Yankees can’t get to game 7.

    Comment by MX — October 18, 2012 @ 10:40 am

  15. That’s a clown question, Bro.

    Comment by David33957 — October 18, 2012 @ 10:50 am

  16. The 83 win Cardinals who had the same core from ’04 and 05′ when the team had the best record in MLB each year. (Also, even with the 83 win ’06, the ’04-’06 Cardinals averaged 96 wins per season.) Yes, they were lucky to get in, but they were an extremely talented team.

    Comment by Anon — October 18, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  17. 2004 ALCS….Derek Lowe started and went 5.1 on 10/17, then started and won Game 7 with 6 IP on 10/20. Two days rest can definitely be a thing if it has to be.

    Comment by Jeff — October 18, 2012 @ 11:28 am

  18. If this article isn’t pure comedy, cynicism, sarcasm the writer and the editor should petition their college for a tuition refund.

    Comment by Rob — October 18, 2012 @ 11:31 am

  19. I never thought (or hoped) this day would come, but i think this joke is officially dead.

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — October 18, 2012 @ 11:37 am

  20. its hard to ever feel bad for the yankees, but they really got screwed with this playoff format. opening round 1 on the road, not getting a day off between series, forcing them to use a 5th starter or throw someone on 3 days rest.

    the tigers had the 7th (for emphasis, SEVENTH) best record out of 14 AL teams… and they got to rest their regulars, line up their starters for the playoffs, and were granted an off day, enabling verlander to pitch twice potentially, on full rest both times. if im the yankees, im hoping for a better explanation than “its just how the TV format had to work”

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — October 18, 2012 @ 11:39 am

  21. I have learned that the rain is in fact “mischievous”, not “partisan”, from those super-annoying Michelin commercials.

    Comment by Jason B — October 18, 2012 @ 11:52 am

  22. It truly was a dumb decision not to start Sabathia in game 3. When you’re down 0-2, game 3 essentially becomes an elimination game because 0-3 comebacks in team sports happen about as often as Tim Tebow gets laid (well a little more often than that but still…) Also, starting Sabathia in game 3 guarantees that he starts another game if the series gets back to the Bronx. It’s a stunning lack of foresight in my eyes. Even if every meteorologist on the planet predicted clear blue skies, the possibility of a rainout has to be accounted for. Considering Sabathia’s track record on short rest and the fact that JV was the guy you had to beat to basically save your season, it’s mystifying why they didn’t go with Sabathia.

    Comment by jpg — October 18, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

  23. I lived about 20 minutes from the stadium, and it rained pretty good last night around what would’ve been the 4th inning or so.

    Comment by Kevin — October 18, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

  24. Yes, one cherry-picked example is impressive proof.

    Comment by Baltar — October 18, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

  25. Give me a break, Yankee whiner.

    Comment by Baltar — October 18, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

  26. Ooh, you win. You used the magic “clown” word.

    Comment by Baltar — October 18, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

  27. It made a BIG difference that one time. Or maybe it didn’t, and one or more of myriad other reasons was the reason for their loss (like maybe, I don’t know, the Cardinals were the better team. And I say that as someone who kind of dislikes the Cardinals.) Maybe it’ll make a BIG difference this time, and maybe it won’t. My suspicion is that it affects different players in different ways — some players might lose focus, others might find renewed energy from a little rest — and since there are different players on this Tigers team compared to the ’06 team, any conclusions you might infer are probably pretty bogus.

    Anyway, if they do sweep, they end up with one less day to wait. And we end up with on less day of NL-only baseball. Win-win for everybody.

    Comment by joser — October 18, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

  28. While the postseason format didn’t help them, I guess their stopping hitting before the postseason even started out of protest? And then Hughes and Jeter injured themselves for the same reason?

    Comment by joser — October 18, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

  29. That joke/meme was driven into the ground in the first week after it appeared. The only people still using it are actual clowns.

    Comment by joser — October 18, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  30. It wasn’t childish to have the one-game playoff between the two wildcards; it’s childish to complain about baseball being unfair. The Tigers won their division. The Yankees did not. I think it’s perfectly normal for the wild card teams to enter the playoffs in a less opportune way. Most sports have byes for the top seeds in the playoffs, do they not?

    Comment by Lauren — October 18, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

  31. I would say that the biggest damage dealt by the Game 4 rain-out (and I am sure that everyone will agree with this) is the game being moved to 4:07 today, when I will be teaching an Ethics class from 4:30-7:00. As a further bit of cruelty, I will be teaching roughly 5 minutes from Comerica Park.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — October 18, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

  32. I would say the only time where it is okay to say, “That’s a clown question” is if an actual clown asks a question. Even then, the word “bro” must not be used.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — October 18, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

  33. Are we talking about the same Yankees? I meant the one that *was* the top seed in the AL…

    Comment by Ken — October 18, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

  34. This is EXACTLY why CC should have pitched game 3 on short rest instead of game 4.

    They new on Sunday that it was going to rain later in the week. They had to know that if one game got bumped they would get hosed like this.

    Since it would be outrageous for the TV schedule to bend to the game being played ON THE FIELD… we are stuck with this year’s mess.

    Comment by Tom B — October 18, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

  35. It was childish to wedge it into the middle of the postseason after the TV schedule was set.

    But… they got their precious playoff game dollars out of it so they don’t care.

    Comment by Tom B — October 18, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

  36. Lowe was also a FA after 2004. The Yanks have CC for another 4 years.

    Comment by vin — October 18, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

  37. i get it. you hate the yankees. most of us do.

    however, your post didnt really address mine in any way or add anything to the conversation. theyre not hitting… no shit, joser.

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — October 18, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  38. Lauren, the Yankees finished with the best record in the American League.

    Comment by Jon L. — October 18, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

  39. ^Yes.

    Comment by Jon L. — October 18, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

  40. i feel like the odds don’t go from 6% to 5%. the yankee’s odds of reaching game seven are unchanged by this development. the only odds that have changed are the odds of game 7 itself, and those have changed from whatever the odds of winning with CC are compared to whatever the odds of winning with whatever/whomever the replacement is.

    Comment by MrKnowNothing — October 18, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

  41. It was pretty much a wash either way. The Yankees had a choice between:

    Sabathia (short rest)/Hughes/Pettite/Kuroda/Sabathia


    Hughes/Sabathia/Pettite/Sabathia (short rest)

    So really, moving Sabathia up changes absolutely nothing. You still get the exact same starters, just in different order. That’s assuming, for the sake of argument, that you’d rather have CC on short rest than Hughes on full rest. My guess is that CC was never going to come back on short rest, regardless of the situation, because he’d be nightmarishly awful.

    You go with your best pitching lineup, regardless of the situation in the series. Game 3 doesn’t count any more than games 4-7.

    Comment by Rageagainstthenarrative — October 18, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

  42. Yes, if Bud hadn’t jammed in the playin game between the Orioles and Rangers, then… they would have had to jam in a playin game between the Orioles and the Rangers, since they both finished with 93 wins.

    Comment by Joe Mauer — October 18, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

  43. They get the advantage of playing the wild card team, which has already had to play an elimination game (likely using their best starter) and getting an extra off day against that opponent. So it’s not like the schedule has provided them no examples.

    And if they don’t like it, they’re always welcome to not have the best record in the AL next year.

    Comment by TIm — October 18, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

  44. Actually, this was nothing about hate for the Yankees. What my post was adding to the conversation, and by way of addressing yours, was that whatever problems the playoff schedule and format may have posed, the far bigger problem the Yankees had was within the team itself, and the performance of the players thereon. A team that wasn’t already mired in a slump, and bitten by ill-timed injuries, would likely have shrugged off those schedule and format issues like the small factors they actually are.

    Comment by joser — October 18, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

  45. Keep in mind as well that this was a Tigers team riding two unlikely hot hands: Kenny Rogers and Jeremy Bonderman, both of whom sport career FIP’s over 4.25.

    Comment by BronxBomber — October 19, 2012 @ 4:55 am

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