Oct
15

A problem for a rainy day

By

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s raining in New York, and with a Nor’easter settling in over the area, this rain may not stop for a few days. With first game of the ALCS scheduled for tomorrow night amidst a 60 percent chance of rain, the game very well could be rained out, the Yanks’ best laid plans thrown into disarray.

For the sake of this discussion, let’s take a look at the ALCS schedule and two potential alternatives if Game 1 were to be rained out.

Date Schedule Alternate Alternate 2
Oct. 16 Game 1 Rain Out Rain Out
Oct. 17 Game 2 Game 1 Game 1
Oct. 18 Off Day Game 2 Game 2
Oct. 19 Game 3 Game 3 Off Day
Oct. 20 Game 4 Game 4 Game 3
Oct. 21 Off Day Off Day Game 4
Oct. 22 Game 5 Game 5 Game 5
Oct. 23 Off Day Off Day Off Day
Oct. 24 Game 6 Game 6 Game 6
Oct. 25 Game 7 Game 7 Game 7

In my opinion, Major League Baseball will have two choices if the Yanks and Angels can’t fit in Game 1 on Friday. The teams would play Game 1 on Saturday and Game 2 on Sunday, the currently-scheduled travel day. Then, without skipping a day and with a cross-country flight involved, the Angels and Yanks would meet in Anaheim on Monday afternoon. Since the game is schedule for a 4:13 start on Monday, travel could be tight.

My preferred alternate is in the right column of that table. Instead of just pushing back one game, the schedule would be rearranged to the familiar 2-3-2 ALCS format we used to enjoy prior to last year’s TV accommodations. The Yanks and Angels would play two in the Bronx on Saturday and Sunday, three in Los Angeles from Tuesday-Thursday and then two more in the Bronx the following weekend. No unnecessarily harried travel days would be involved.

The bigger problem from the Yanks’ perspective is the havoc rain or the threat of it wreaks on their pitching plans. Right now, the ALCS is set up to benefit the Yanks. Although Joe Girardi has yet to announce it, the team could very well go with a three-man rotation, and only once — CC Sabathia in Game 4 — would their starter go on short rest. Meanwhile, this extra off-day would allow the Yanks to use their ace in a potential Game 7.

Any rain-out throws that plan out of the window. Since both alternative schedules feature a compression of sorts, the Yanks would have to make a choice. Either Sabathia would pitch both Games 4 and 7 on short rest or the team would have to use four starters. Thus, under the latter scenario, Chad Gaudin would probably pitch in Game 4, Sabathia on full rest in Game 5, Burnett in Game 6 and Andy Pettitte — if the ALDS rotation holds — in Game 7. I have no problem with Pettitte taking the mound at home for Game 7, but I’d rather see CC.

Right now, we don’t know what MLB will choose to do. They have TV obligations to uphold, and a cross-country trip to schedule. A rain-out would be messy, then, on many fronts.

In the end, rain matters, and the Yankees say they have a contingency plan. Hopefully, unlike in 2004 when rain altered the Yanks’ ability to go with their preferred pitchers during the latter half of the ALCS, the team can overcome a postponement. They certainly have the depth to do so.

Postscript: The rain also has a confusing impact on the tickets fans currently hold. As Brian Costa notes, a rain-out technically pushes back both games. If Friday’s game is canceled, tickets for Home Game 1 would be honored on Saturday, and tickets for Home Game 2 would be honored on Sunday. I’d hate to be the security guards turning away confused fans for Saturday’s game.

Categories : Playoffs

41 Comments»

  1. GG says:

    I thought Monday was scheduled for a 4:57 start, not 4:13….I live in LA, trying to dip out of work early Monday for that game

  2. Mike bk says:

    what are the chances they get in game 1 tomorrow and rain out saturday?

  3. What if both Friday and Saturday are rained out? It’s a distinct possibility.

  4. yankeegirl49 says:

    The prediction is for rain THROUGH Monday…that would completely mess things up.

  5. thurdonpaul says:

    playoff double header ?

  6. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    Preempt “So You Think You can Dance”? Or “House”? Fox will probably put the game on FX instead.

  7. Evan NYC says:

    Rain, rain go away!

  8. Evan NYC says:

    We haven’t watched the Yankees play a live game since Sunday. We could very well not see them again until Tuesday. That is a terrible stretch.

  9. Dan says:

    As excited as I am for having scored tickets (at face value!) for Friday’s game, I’m not looking forward to sitting in the rain for three hours waiting for them to decide whether or not to start the game. They did that for a Yankees-Angels game earlier in the season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do it again.

  10. A.D. says:

    Damn weather, this is why they should play the game on spreadsheets, the way it was intended.

  11. fred says:

    There will be a window between storms to allow play on friday night, but Game #2 looks doubtful as a second storm is coming from midday saturday thru sunday morning.

    • Mike bk says:

      this would be the best outcome for the yanks if we get game 1 in, to make sure CC can pitch game 4 whenever it is.

      • CanoFTW says:

        Not necessarily, because one of the main benefits of the 3 man rotation was that CC was the only pitching on short rest in Game 4. If there are delays in the games that follow, that would eliminate off days and would force Burnett and/or Pettitte to pitch on short rest too.

  12. SteveD Fla says:

    New poster here. This rain thing really sucks. as if we all did not know that. I just started reading here this season. Very good stuff from most posters. And quite funny at times also. I also heard that game 1 has a chance and 2 does not look good.

  13. donttradecano says:

    ticket prices are dropping drastically

  14. Ross says:

    You didn’t lay out the following which is VERY possible:

    Game 1 is played in cold and damp conditions on Friday night. Saturday and Sunday are washouts, game 2 happens Monday afternoon. THEN what is the schedule?!

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  16. Paul says:

    Play Mon/Tue/Wed at Anaheim, a travel day then 4 games in NY, especially if Friday AND Saturday will rain out.

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