NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 01: Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees is congratulated by Mark Teixeira #25 and Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees after hitting a grand slam home run in the sixth inning of Game One of the American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium on October 1, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

ALDS 2011: Tigers Even Series, Back To Bronx For Game 5

Robinson Cano launched a grand slam and drove in six runs, and Ivan Nova was strong in relief of CC Sabathia as the Yankees took a 1-0 series lead over the Tigers.

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Yankees vs. Tigers: Highlights From The Live-Blog Of New York's Game 1 Win

The New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers finally got Game 1 into the box on Saturday, some 24 hours after it should have ended. A large rain-storm on Friday night threw the series schedule off, forcing the two teams to pick the action back up on Saturday with the score tied at one.

The Yankees were able to take care of the Tigers to snag the early 1-0 series lead with a strong 9-3 win on Saturday night. Below are the highlights from the marathon live-blog, which began with the first pitch on Friday, was interrupted by rain, and ended on Saturday night.

Play resumed in the bottom of the second on Saturday, with Doug Fister on the mound as a "reliever." The Yankees quickly put runners on second and third, only to see Jorge Posada get thrown out 90 feet from the plate as he was caught napping on a ground to the left side of the infield. Though Fister struggled, he was able to make it out of the inning alive.

That didn't mean the end of trouble, though. See, while facing Derek Jeter, Fister balked, pushing runners to second and third once more. But no matter! On four pitches, Jeter whiffed. And then, on eight pitches, Curtis Granderson whiffed. The Yankees had good chances to take the lead with talented hitters at the plate, but a baserunning mistake and two strikeouts allowed Fister to escape unscathed.

In the fifth, Ivan Nova worked himself into a jam, but with a nice relay from Derek Jeter, the Yankees were able to escape with the score still knotted at one. As you can see below, Russell Martin almost had his head taken off.

Relayout

In the bottom of the inning, Robinson Cano broke the tie, doubling off the top of the wall on a ball that came just inches from leaving the yard -- the play was reviewed and the double was confirmed. Just an inning later, though, Fister crumbled, and the Yankees plated all the runs they needed. After giving up two more runs, Fister left the game in favor of Al Alburquerque, who Cano promptly welcomed with a grand slam.

The right-handed Alburquerque gave the left-handed Robinson Cano an 0-and-1 slider inside, and Cano pulled it way out to deep, deep right for a grand slam that blew the game open. Three of the four runs were charged to Fister, and one to Alburquerque, but that doesn't really matter - what matters is that the Yankees all but have a 1-0 series lead. Just the way they drew it up!

It was all Yankees would need as they cruised to a 9-3 Game 1 win to take the first game of the series.

For more on this game, check out the rest of the live-blog and Jeff Sullivan's recap.

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Robinson Cano, Ivan Nova Power Yankees To 9-3 Game 1 Rout

Cano launched a grand slam and drove in six runs, and Nova was strong in relief of CC Sabathia as the Yankees took a 1-0 series lead over the Tigers.

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Robinson Cano Grand Slam Blows Doors Wide Open

Doug Fister's final line in this game:

4⅔ innings, 7 hits, 6 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts

That is not at all an accurate reflection of how well he pitched. Against the Yankees, in Yankee Stadium, in a weird starting/relieving situation, Fister was very good, but everything fell apart in the bottom of the sixth.

You'll recall that the Yankees were narrowly ahead of the Tigers 2-1 coming into the frame. Mark Teixeira doubled and Jorge Posada drew a walk, but the Yankees had two on and two out when Brett Gardner came up. Fister got ahead 0-and-2, but then Gardner grounded a fastball just through the infield and into right-center to plate a pair of runs.

At that point, realistically, it was probably enough. The Yankees have an excellent bullpen, and the Tigers were down 4-1 with nine outs to go. But the Yankees weren't finished. Derek Jeter singled, and Curtis Granderson walked in an eight-pitch plate appearance to load the bases. That chased Fister from the mound, and Jim Leyland called on Al Alburquerque to put out the fire and keep the score where it was.

He didn't. The right-handed Alburquerque gave the left-handed Robinson Cano an 0-and-1 slider inside, and Cano pulled it way out to deep, deep right for a grand slam that blew the game open. Three of the four runs were charged to Fister, and one to Alburquerque, but that doesn't really matter - what matters is that the Yankees all but have a 1-0 series lead. Just the way they drew it up!

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Robinson Cano's Reviewed Double Puts Yankees Up 2-1

Coming into the bottom of the fifth, Doug Fister had retired nine Yankees in a row, and five of them by strikeout. Thankfully for New York, Ivan Nova was putting up zeroes himself and the score was still 1-1, but the Yankees knew they'd need to get on the board.

They did just that in the bottom of the fifth. And they did it despite the first two batters hitting into outs. With two down, Curtis Granderson lined a base hit into right. Innocent enough. But then Robinson Cano came up and he blasted an outside fastball deep to left-center field. It hit off the very top of the wall and bounced back into play, and by the time Delmon Young returned the ball to the infield, Granderson had scored, and Cano was standing on second base with an RBI double.

Because the ball hit the top of the wall (without any fan interference!), the umpires reviewed the play to see if Cano deserved a home run. The call on the field was upheld, though, so in a sense the play was good for both teams. The Yankees were pleased that they had the lead, and the Tigers were pleased that Cano's ball didn't sail another few inches.

Canoball

Fister pitched through Alex Rodriguez to limit the damage, but still New York got out in front. And now the Tigers have just nine outs left, because Ivan Nova followed with a scoreless sixth. He walked Austin Jackson to lead off, but when Jackson subsequently took off for second base, Magglio Ordonez bounced a grounder right back up the middle, where a covering Cano was in perfect position to start a 4-3 double play. Delmon Young then flew out.

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Derek Jeter Helps Ivan Nova Escape Fifth-Inning Jam

Entering the fifth inning, the Tigers and Yankees were tied at 1, and Doug Fister and Ivan Nova had combined to retire 15 hitters in a row. Nova made it 16 when he struck out Victor Martinez leading off.

But the streak was broken shortly thereafter when Alex Avila followed with a walk. On the next pitch, Ryan Raburn lined a single to right, and the Tigers had the makings of a rally.

It looked like they'd cash in two pitches after that. Jhonny Peralta lined a low fastball into center, and Avila rounded third to come home. But Curtis Granderson threw the ball to Derek Jeter, and Jeter made a perfect relay throw to Russell Martin, who tagged Avila out while avoiding a dangerous collision.

Relayout

Nova wasn't yet completely out of trouble. With two down and two in scoring position, he had to get through Wilson Betemit, sent up to pinch-hit for the righty Brandon Inge. But Betemit smacked a routine fly, and so the 1-1 score didn't budge. On we go, to the bottom of the fifth.

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Doug Fister, Ivan Nova All Settled In

Rain, of course, suspended Friday's Game 1 in the middle of the second inning, and though play was resumed Saturday night, neither CC Sabathia nor Justin Verlander were available to pitch. Tragedy, right? That the country would miss out on getting to watch that pitchers' duel?

Not to worry - Ivan Nova and Doug Fister are currently doing their best imitation. Here's the sequence of events since play picked up:

Single
Double
Out
Out
Out
Out
Out
Out
Out
Out
Out
Out
Out
Out
Out
Out
Out

Fister allowed those two hits to start off the bottom of the second, but since then, he and Nova have combined to set down 15 hitters in a row. Nova's done it on contact, but Fister's already up to five strikeouts. Five strikeouts, against the Yankees, inside Yankee Stadium, in an unusual situation. This is nuts.

It's Tigers 1, Yankees 1 in the top of the fifth, and who even knows? The next run might just be the winning run, with the way these guys are throwing.

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Yankees Waste Golden Opportunity Against Doug Fister

They said that the Friday rain in New York affected both the Yankees and Tigers equally, since it forced CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander out of action. But it wasn't completely equal. See, the Yankees got two innings out of Sabathia, while the Tigers got only one out of Verlander.

The Tigers turned to Doug Fister as the "reliever" in the bottom of the second on Saturday as Game 1 action resumed. Immediately, he was greeted by a base hit from Jorge Posada. Right after that, Russell Martin hit a soft line drive to left-center that went for a hustle double, and the Yankees had two in scoring position with nobody out.

But Brett Gardner followed with a grounder to third, where Brandon Inge fielded the ball and looked to Posada. Posada was caught too far off the base, and Inge tagged him out.

That didn't mean the end of trouble, though. See, while facing Derek Jeter, Fister balked, pushing runners to second and third once more. But no matter! On four pitches, Jeter whiffed. And then, on eight pitches, Curtis Granderson whiffed. The Yankees had good chances to take the lead with talented hitters at the plate, but a baserunning mistake and two strikeouts allowed Fister to escape unscathed.

Fister's going right back to the mound as I write this, as Ivan Nova just turned in a 1-2-3 third. But the score's still 1-1, where the Yankees should probably be leading.

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CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander Stun Baseball With Early Exit In Game One

Well, it was because of the weather on Friday night, but there's no need to be pedantic.

What was supposed to be the pitchers' duel of pitchers' duels turned into a wet, soggy mess. And with Sabathia throwing two innings on Friday before the game was suspended, the Yankees were understandably reluctant to bring him back on Saturday. Sabathia even lobbied to start Game Two, but according to Ken Rosenthal ...

Yankees' Cashman: Sabathia will start Game 3. Team has ruled out CC pitching tmrw coming off 27 pitches last night and 48 in warmup.

Ivan Nova -- originally the scheduled starter for the second game -- will pitch on the day he was expecting to, but it will be called Game One instead of Game Two, and he'll come in for the third inning. That's probably a little weird for him.

The Tigers will do something similar, moving their rotation up a day. From Jason Beck:

Fister Saturday, Scherzer Sunday, Verlander Monday.

The biggest problem with the rain out is that there's no chance of a Game Five with another Sabathia/Verlander match-up. Unless it rains for the rest of the week, that is.

 

Yankrain_medium

Fun.

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Yankees, Tigers Have ALDS Schedule Changed Due To Rain

The New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers were supposed to get their ALDS underway Friday, September 30. And they did. They completed an inning and a half. Then the rains came and forced Game 1 to be suspended. Long story short, let's just skip ahead to the new series schedule:

Game Matchup Day Date Time ET TV
Gm 1 DET @ NYY Sat Oct. 1 8:37 PM TBS
Gm 2 DET @ NYY Sun Oct. 2 3:07 PM TNT
Gm 3 NYY @ DET Mon Oct. 3 8:37 PM TBS
Gm 4* NYY @ DET Tue Oct. 4 TBD TBS
Gm 5* DET @ NYY Thu Oct. 6 TBD TBS

The remainder of Game 1 has been shifted to Saturday, and the teams will pick up where they left off, with the Yankees coming to bat in the bottom of the second and the score even at one.

Game 2 has been shifted to Sunday, eliminating what was previously a scheduled off day. Now the Yankees and Tigers will not get a day to travel.

This is where things stand for now. Unfortunately, there is the distinct possibility that rain is a factor again on Saturday, which would bollocks everything up. At that point Bud Selig would probably ask the Tigers and Yankees to decide Game 1 by Yahtzee.

---

Update: According to Ken Rosenthal, in the event of further rain on Saturday, they would push the games back once more and eliminate the Wednesday off day.

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Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia Have Schedules Reworked Due To Rain

Game 1 of the ALDS between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees was supposed to bring us a pitchers' duel for the ages. However, pouring rain has forced a suspension, which is obviously not good news for Justin Verlander or CC Sabathia, who had already put in some work.

The new pitching schedules? For Detroit, Verlander will now pitch Game 3, on Monday. Doug Fister will go Saturday when Game 1 resumes, Max Scherzer will go Sunday in Game 2, and Rick Porcello will go Tuesday in Game 4 (if necessary), with Fister slated for Game 5.

For New York? Ivan Nova will pitch Saturday and Freddy Garcia will pitch Sunday, with Sabathia probably pitching against Verlander in Game 3. Should he need a fourth starter, Joe Girardi is considering A.J. Burnett.

The downside here for the Tigers is that Saturday's Game 1 lineup will face a righty even though it was put together to face a lefty. The Yankees get it worse, though, because all of a sudden, Sabathia will start only one game, where he was originally likely to get two if the series advanced beyond three games. That's a big, big blow.

So that's the way things are for now. We'll see whether rain causes further complications on Saturday. Which it very well might.

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MLB Playoffs 2011: Yankees Roster Goes With Three Man Rotation For ALDS

The New York Yankees on Friday announced their roster for the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers. Most notably, the Yankees will go with just three starting pitchers for the series: CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia. Sabathia is set to pitch Friday against Justin Verlander of the Tigers, as well as Game 4 in Detroit if necessary. Nova would pitch Game 5 on normal rest.

The shorter rotation will allow the Yankees to carry an eight-man bullpen headed by closer Mariano Rivera and setup men Rafael Soriano and David Robertson. The rest of the bullpen is rounded out by Luis Ayala, Cory Wade, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, and Boone Logan as the pen's sole left hander.

Rookie Jesus Montero made the team as a backup catcher to Russell Martin, with Jorge Posada serving as the designated hitter and emergency catcher if need be. Eric Chavez and Eduardo Nunez will back up a starting infield of 1B Mark Teixeira, 2B Robinson Cano, SS Derek Jeter and 3B Alex Rodriguez. Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher will man the outfield, with Andruw Jones and Chris Dickerson behind them.

For more on the Yankees, head over to the SB Nation team blog Pinstripe Alley.

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MLB Playoffs 2011: Tigers Roster Includes All Five Starting Pitchers

The Detroit Tigers have announced their roster for the 2011 MLB playoffs. The entire five-man pitching rotation from the regular season made the cut, though the Tigers will go to a four-man rotation in the playoffs. It is still unknown who will end up in the bullpen.

It won't be Justin Verlander, who takes the mound Friday to face off against CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees. Doug Fister and Max Scherzer will join the rotation as well, leaving the fourth spot up for grabs between Rick Porcello and Brad Penny.

One of them will join Phil Coke as the team's two lefties in the bullpen. Daniel Schlereth, Al Alburquerque, Ryan Perry, Jose Valverde and Joaquin Benoit round out the bullpen, with Valverde set to close.

In place of adding an extra pitcher, the Tigers took on Omir Santos to back up Alex Avila and Victor Martinez at catcher. Santos should provide the team some piece of mind in case Avila is injured. Martinez has been struggling with a sprained left knee since early August.

Wilson Betemit, Miguel Cabrera, Brandon Inge, Jhonny Peralta and Ramon Santiago make up the Tigers' rostered infield, with Andy Dirks, Austin Jackson, Don Kelly, Magglio Ordonez, Ryan Raburn and Delmon Young comprising the outfield.

For more on the Tigers, visit the SB Nation team blog Bless You Boys.

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Tigers Vs. Yankees, ALDS Game 1 Preview: Time, TV Schedule, Starting Pitchers And More

The Yankees send CC Sabathia to the mound against Justin Verlander for the Tigers in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Friday night.

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Detroit Tigers (Mostly) Set ALDS Rotation

The Tigers are preparing to face the Yankees in the first round of the 2011 playoffs, and while they haven't yet released their official playoff roster, they have given away three-quarters of their ALDS rotation. Hold on to something, because these names might surprise you:

Justin Verlander
Doug Fister
Max Scherzer

Sure enough, the Tigers' best three starters will start the first three games, in order of season performance. Verlander will oppose CC Sabathia in what could turn out to be an incredible Game 1, and then behind him, Jim Leyland will turn to Doug Fister's late-onset Cliff Lee-ness, and then Max Scherzer's considerable strikeout rate. Given that the Yankees will be down to Freddy Garcia by the time Game 3 rolls around, the Tigers have to be feeling pretty good.

It's currently unknown whether a potential Game 4 start would go to Brad Penny or Rick Porcello. Penny was bad this season while Porcello was less bad, so that seems pretty obvious to me. Leyland has already said that Verlander will not pitch on short rest.

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Yankees Set Rotation Behind Sabathia

Once you get past CC Sabathia, the Yankees have a whole bunch of starters with claims on postseason rotation spots, but they're going with a rookie and a grizzled veteran, both unheralded before the season.

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