The New York Yankees’ season was extended for at least one more day after rain in Detroit washed out Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.
The Tigers were forced to wait an extra day for the chance to advance to the World Series for the first time since 2006. Detroit holds a three-games-to-none lead in the Major League Baseball playoff series heading into today’s Game 4, which was rescheduled for 4:07 p.m. at Comerica Park.
The Yankees haven’t been swept in the postseason since the 1980 ALCS against the Kansas City Royals. The 27-time World Series champions are seeking to join the 2004 Boston Red Sox as the second team in major-league history to rally from a 3-0 deficit and win a best-of-seven playoff series.
“We have an opportunity to try to change this story, and the ones we have written for ourselves,” Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said yesterday. “I know our guys are hungry to try to do that, because no one wants to deal with the negatives. But it is all performance driven.”
The Yankees have a .200 team batting average this postseason and have been held scoreless by the Tigers in 28 of 30 innings so far in the series.
On the verge of postseason elimination, the Yankees will again have Alex Rodriguez -- the sport’s highest-paid player with a 10-year, $275 million contract -- on the bench.
Today’s lineup is the same that was released yesterday, when Yankees manager Joe Girardi opted to sit Rodriguez against Tigers right-handed starting pitcher Max Scherzer. Rodriguez, a three-time AL Most Valuable Player, is hitless in 18 at-bats against right-handers this postseason.
“I’m not happy about it,” Rodriguez told reporters yesterday. “You come to the ballpark thinking you can help a team win and when you see your name is out of the lineup, you’re obviously disappointed and just shift to being a cheerleader.”
Cashman said yesterday there’s no truth to an ESPN report that Yankees President Randy Levine and Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria talked about Rodriguez playing in Miami.
“I’ve had no discussions whatsoever with the Florida Marlins,” Cashman said at a news conference. “Certainly would never have any trade discussions under the circumstances.”
Cashman said Rodriguez, 37, hasn’t been phased out of the team’s long-term plans. Rodriguez is under contract with the Yankees through the 2017 season.
“Opportunities will exist to continue to get back off that mat and get back in the ring and battle,” he said. “And Alex is going to wait for that opportunity. Right now it looks like in theory we’ll do that against left-handed pitching. That doesn’t mean that he’s done, that he’s finished. He is still a big threat, but for whatever reason right now we are adjusting to what we are seeing.”
Yesterday’s game was delayed for about 90 minutes because of the threat of rain before being postponed by MLB based on a forecast of inclement weather throughout the night.
CC Sabathia is scheduled to pitch for the Yankees and hasn’t lost in his past eight postseason starts.
“Certainly guys have been a part of this and found a way to just go out and win one game,” Girardi said yesterday. “Go out and win one game and let’s just see what happens.”
Detroit had been scheduled to host Game 5 today, if necessary. With Game 4 being moved to today, Game 5 would be played tomorrow. That had been scheduled to be an off-day in the series, with the sixth and seventh games, if necessary, set for New York on Oct. 20 and 21.
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