— Because the addition of the wild-card playoff games provided no room for a day off in the American League postseason schedule if the New York Yankees-Baltimore Orioles series went five games, the Detroit Tigers were forced to wait at home Friday night to see whether they had to fly to New York.
Manager Jim Leyland said the team met at Comerica Park after the Yankees beat Orioles and got to their hotel rooms in New York around 12:40 a.m. But he wasn’t about to use that as an excuse.
“I don’t worry about the small stuff,” Leyland said. “That’s small stuff to me. At this time of year, if you’re playing and you’re complaining, there is something wrong with you. We are still playing and we’re still in the final four. It is what it is.”
Jim Hendry, former Chicago Cubs general manager, wound up on his feet in New York as a special assignment scout for Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman. Hendry is likely to become a GM again down the road, but right now he’s enjoying getting back to his scouting roots.
“He’s knee deep in it, and where he belongs,” Cashman said. “He has been a great acquisition for us. Just hoping he can help us take it the whole way. We’ll see.”
Sticking to plan
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi will go with right-hander Hiroki Kuroda in Game 2 on Sunday, and right-hander Phil Hughes and left-hander CC Sabathia in Games 3 and 4, respectively, in Detroit. Right-hander Anibal Sanchez starts Game 2 for the Tigers, followed by right-handers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.
Girardi considered going with Sabathia on short rest in Game 3, but stuck with Hughes, saying “we believe in our other pitchers. You think about, ‘Do you want to bring him in on short rest now? Or if you need to do it later, do you want to do it later?’
“He has worked very hard in his last two starts, that’s the bottom line. We just felt it’s best to have him fresh for Game 4 than risking him not being fresh [in] Game 3, because someone is going to have to pitch in Game 4 anyway.”
Sources said former Cubs and Chicago White Sox outfielder Kosuke Fukudome is expected to play back in Japan next year, probably for either the Chunichi Dragons or Hanshin Tigers. … The Yankees took infielder Eduardo Nunez off their Championship Series roster and replaced him with reliever Cody Eppley. The Tigers kept the same roster they had for the division series.