Rain again

Games being postponed by rain has been a feature of the week so far.

After the farce witnessed in Poland on Tuesday night, the decision by officials to postpone Game Four of the ALCS in Detroit – even though no rain was falling at the time the decision was made – proved to be a rare instance of common sense winning out.

Whereas FIFA and the Polish Football Federation looked at a forecast for heavy rain throughout Tuesday and left it too late to close the roof for Poland’s World Cup qualifier against England, MLB trusted the weather forecasts and decided to postpone the Yankees-Tigers game before a pitch was thrown.

Sure enough, the heavens soon opened in Detroit and all were spared the disruption of a game being abandoned in mid-course. Sensible decision-making by sports authorities: who would have thought it was possible?

The Yankees and Tigers will play Game Four on Thursday instead and it’s an early start, so we can watch the game from 21.00 BST.  It should be a good pitching match-up between Max Scherzer and CC Sabathia, with the latter now almost certainly ruled out of making a potential second start in the series.

There was hope that if the Yankees could somehow take the series to a Game Seven, Sabathia would be able to pitch in the decider on short rest.  However now he will only have two rest days due to the scheduled off-day between games five and six being scrapped and that’s just not going to be enough time.  If the Yankees’ plight wasn’t difficult enough, it’s just got that little bit harder still.

In the NLCS, great credit should go to anyone that managed to stay the course throughout the six and a half hours that Game Three took to be completed.  I headed to bed before the 3.5 hour rain delay interrupted the seventh inning, but those who stuck with it certainly deserve a ‘hardcore’ salute, in true ‘Baseball on 5’ style.

Game Four tonight also should provide a fascinating match-up between Adam Wainwright and Tim Lincecum.

When Lincecum was helping the Giants to the World Series title two years ago, few would have predicted he would be relegated to the bullpen in the postseason just two years later.

He has endured a tough season (5.18 ERA over 33 regular season starts with a 1.47 WHIP and 17 wild pitches thrown in for good measure), but some recent good showings have led manager Bruce Bochy to entrust him with the start in Game Four and this is his chance to put a difficult season behind him. Still just 28 years old, there’s no reason to believe Timmy is over the hill just yet.

The Giants will need a strong start from Lincecum if they want to level up the series 2-2 and ensure that the teams will head back to AT&T Park for at least one further game.

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