Yankees-Tigers Game Postponed Until Today
Justin Verlander was throwing in the outfield, Mike Mussina was nowhere to be seen, Randy Johnson got ready to pitch Game 3, and the fans in Yankee Stadium just wondered what was going on.
In a rainout with hardly any rain, Game 2 of the AL Division Series between the Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees was postponed Wednesday night.
Tens of thousands of fans sitting in Yankee Stadium for nearly two hours made for an odd sight, especially because it wasn’t raining for much of the time after the scheduled 8:09 p.m. EDT start.
Although a light rain fell occasionally, threatening weather was in the forecast. Still, fans weren’t informed of the postponement until more than 10 minutes after the teams knew no game would be played.
“Where’s the rain? Let them play!” one fan yelled over and over after the postponement was announced by public-address announcer Bob Sheppard.
Game 2 was rescheduled for today, with Verlander (17-9) opposed by Mussina (15-7). The teams will lose the travel day, and Game 3 will be in Detroit on Friday.
Starting Game 3 for the Yankees will be Johnson, who threw a bullpen session Wednesday afternoon.
Johnson has a herniated disk in his back that required him to get an epidural shot last Friday.
Yankees Manager Joe Torre said Johnson threw 30-35 pitches Wednesday, then departed for Detroit.
The Yankees lead, 1-0, in the best-of-five series.
Before Game 2 was officially rained out, Verlander went to left field and starting throwing, but never went to the bullpen mound.
“Obviously, I went out there and I got stretched a little bit,” he said. “We were informed the game time was at 10 o’clock. Obviously, I got out there and Mussina’s not out there. Nobody’s out there.”
Detroit players said the first indication they got of a postponement was when a member of the grounds crew went over to pitching coach Chuck Hernandez.
Having checked out of the Grand Hyatt of Manhattan’s East Side, the Tigers had to change hotels and wound up at the New York Hilton and Towers on the West Side.
When it appeared that the game would start, Mussina said the Yankees objected.
“Quite a few of us said, ‘This is crazy. You’re going to mess up the whole series,’ ” he said. “We’d play a couple innings and then get rained out, then we’ve got to go play again tomorrow and it’s just better this way. Even if it stopped raining 10 minutes from now, it’s better this way.”
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, reached at his home in Milwaukee, declined comment, referring questions to Jimmie Lee Solomon, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner’s office.
“We wanted to get the game in. We thought we could,” Solomon said. “The forecast indicated we could get in two, three innings tops and would have to stop again for an hour-and-a-half to two hours. We didn’t want to burn up two pitchers if we had that coming through. We reconvened, talked and we made a decision jointly with the commissioner.”