Game 4 of the American League Championship Series in Detroit was rained out Thursday night before a drop of rain fell on Comerica Park.
After waiting for an hour and nine minutes, Major League Baseball announced that the game was postponed until Thursday at 4:07 p.m. There was bad weather in the area that was expected to stay around for a while.
Officials said they wanted to preserve the integrity of an uninterrupted nine-inning game, so they made the decision early.
The Tigers lead the best-of-seven series, three games to none. A fifth game, if needed, would be in Detroit Friday at a time to be determined.
Games 6 and 7, if needed, would be in New York Saturday and Sunday.
The scheduled starters Wednesday — CC Sabathia for the Yankees and Max Scherzer for the Tigers — will pitch Thursday, weather permitting.
Should the Yankees force a seventh game, the truncated scheduled would eliminate the possibility of using Sabathia then. General manager Brian Cashman said he would not use the lefthander on two days’ rest.
Jeter out 4-5 months
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who fractured his left ankle in Game 1 last week, is scheduled for surgery Saturday and will be out 4-5 months.
Dr. Robert Anderson, a specialist in Charlotte, N.C., will perform the surgery. The Yankees are hopeful that Jeter will be ready for Opening Day next April 1 against the Red Sox in New York.
“My understanding is that it’s possible he will be ready earlier than that time frame, but it is best to at least put out there four, five months as a safer bet,” Cashman said.
Jeter has not been with the team since suffering the injury.
A raft of skippers
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he relies heavily on two of his coaches — Gene Lamont and Lloyd McClendon — because they are former managers.
Lamont managed the White Sox from 1992-95 and the Pirates from 1997-2000. McClendon managed the Pirates from 2001-05.
Leyland also speaks frequently with retired manager Tony La Russa, whom he coached under.
“I think people forget that I am very fortunate,” Leyland said. “I have two major league managers on my staff that I have the utmost respect for. All three of us were with the Pirates, and we all know that story.
“It hasn’t been easy in Pittsburgh. The economics were not good. They could not go out and get players.
“I’m very blessed. Those are two guys I confide in a lot. Gene Lamont and I have been together — we were roommates in 1966. We talk baseball almost every day of our lives. So he has been an excellent sounding board for me and makes suggestions, as well as Lloyd McClendon.
“I am blessed with two managers. And I talk to Tony because I worked for him for six years and coached with him for four years.”
Lamont was one of the finalists last year when the Red Sox were searching for a manager. The job went to Bobby Valentine.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced that two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum would be his Game 4 starter and that Barry Zito would start Game 5.
“He’s the guy we want out there,” Bochy said of Lincecum. “And he’s been throwing the ball well. We’ve got to bounce back. It’s great to have a guy like Timmy all set to go.”
Bochy said that both Lincecum and Zito knew what the plan was, “but I held off naming them because, for example, with the rain delay we could have used Timmy tonight if that goes extra innings and we get low on pitching. But with not using him . . . ”
Bochy originally had said he wouldn’t shy away from Madison Bumgarner, but after the game Bochy said, “I think we feel it’s time to give Madison a little break. And he’s a young kid, 23. He has been pitching a lot of innings and we feel at this point that we’re better off giving him a break and going with ‘Z,’ who’s done a nice job for us.”
The Cardinals had no such issues, with Adam Wainwright scheduled to go in Game 4.
Wainwright, who missed all of last season after having Tommy John surgery, made a nice comeback this season. The only concern has been his workload; he logged 198⅔ regular-season innings.
“I could easily have pitched over 200 innings if I hadn’t had four or five duds and if I hadn’t skipped my last start,” Wainwright said.
Tough customerBochy said he knew that Giants infielder Marco Scutaro, injured by a Matt Holliday takeout slide in Game 2, was going to play Wednesday when he showed up Tuesday and did some workouts even though he was ordered not to. “I was looking at maybe 70-80 percent that he would play,” Bochy said. “After I talked to him, I could see in his eyes that he was very optimistic he was going to play. After that I felt 100 percent he was going to play.”