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Game 4 of ALCS is postponed until Thursday because of inclement weather

Threat of rain in Detroit prompts MLB to make the decision 'in an effort to preserve the integrity of an uninterrupted full nine-inning game.' New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez again was not in the starting lineup.

October 18, 2012|By Paul Sullivan

DETROIT— The New York Yankees survived another day in the postseason Wednesday, thanks to help from Major League Baseball and Mother Nature.

MLB decided to delay the start of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series because of a threat of rain, and then postponed it a little more than an hour later because of a forecast of inclement weather.

A statement from MLB said the postponement was decided upon "in an effort to preserve the integrity of an uninterrupted full nine-inning game."

The rain began to fall nearly two hours after the original game time and was expected to last for some time. The forecast for Thursday is not good either.

The Detroit Tigers, who have a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, will send Max Scherzer to the mound Thursday at Comerica Park against CC Sabathia.

The Yankees could have lost their ace if the game began and later was postponed. Outfielder Nick Swisher said the players were "wired" before the game, anticipating a late start, but added he agreed with the decision.

"Not starting that game tonight was probably the smartest thing," he said. "We came in here, all relaxing, trying to get that vibe back."

The managers were not available for comment afterward, so it's unknown whether they will go with the same starting lineups they had for Wednesday. Yankees Manager Joe Girardi had benched Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson.

Rodriguez is three for 23 in the playoffs.

"I really feel in my heart, any time I'm in that lineup, the team is a better team, without question," Rodriguez said before batting practice.

Girardi was asked whether Rodriguez was "shot" and couldn't be used.

"No, no, I don't think he is a shot player," he said. "He's a guy who's going through struggles, similar to what [Granderson] has gone through the last month and a half or whatever."

The decision not to start Rodriguez was Girardi's, but General Manager Brian Cashman and the rest of the Yankees brass backed him. With five years left on his contract, Rodriguez could make life difficult if he holds the postseason snub against Girardi. But Girardi made the gutsy call for the team, taking Rodriguez's brittle ego out of the equation.

"This is not something that is easy to do," Girardi said. "I think as a manager and as a team at this time you have got to think about today, and you think about today only. You look at Scherzer and how tough he has been on right-handers during the course of this season, and he has been tough on Alex."

Granderson, who is hitting .103 in the postseason (three for 29), took his benching with much more grace than Rodriguez.

"You do whatever you need to do to win," he said. "This isn't the first time we've made changes to the lineup. This isn't the first time I haven't played."

psullivan@tribune.com

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