Tigers lose more than Yankees after suspension

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In theory, the Tigers were going to be significantly more dangerous in a five-game series than in a seven-gamer.  All because certain AL Cy Young Award winner and probable MVP Justin Verlander would have been able to start 40 percent of the possible games, rather than 29 percent.

Now, he’s essentially starting 20.

Friday’s Game 1 between the Tigers and Yankees was suspended with the score tied 1-1 after 1 1/2 innings.  So, now, with Friday’s game getting picked up Saturday and Saturday’s game being pushed back a day, we’re looking at the following matchups for the rest of the series.

Game 1: Doug Fister vs. Ivan Nova
Game 2: Max Scherzer vs. Freddy Garcia
Game 3: Justin Verlander vs. CC Sabathia
Game 4: Rick Porcello vs. A.J. Burnett
Game 5: Doug Fister vs. Ivan Nova

The only off day is scheduled for Wednesday between Games 4 and 5.

It could certainly be worse for the Tigers.  Fister has pitched extremely well, and the matchup of him versus Nova seems a bit advantageous. Also, the Yankees will now be starting Burnett when they had no intention of doing so in the first place.

But the Yankees have more depth in their pitching staff than the Tigers do and are better equipped to handle five games in six days.  If a Tigers starter gets knocked out early — and it’s bound to happen at least once during the series — then it’s going to be Brad Penny time.  And little good can come from that.

Mariners sweep A’s in two-game Japan Series

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The big news, of course, is Ichiro’s retirement. But there was a baseball game that counted today as well and the Mariners took it. Seattle beat Oakland 5-4 in 12 innings to sweep the two-game Japan Series.

Ichiro may have taken an 0-for-4 in his last game, but Ryon Healy and Mitch Haniger homered for the Mariners, staking Seattle to a 3-0 lead after three. The A’s picked up two in the fifth and Seattle added one via a Jay Bruce sac fly to make it 4-2 in the seventh. Oakland tied things back up, ultimately sending it to extras when Khris Davis singled in Matt Chapman in the seventh. Davis would blow a chance to put Oakland ahead in the 11th when he struck out with the bases loaded.

In the twelfth, Domingo Santana, who hit a grand slam in Seattle’s win in the opener on Wednesday, beat out a would-be double-play with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead and, ultimately, winning run.

The rebuilding Mariners are now 2-0 on the young year. The A’s, who won 97 games last year, are 0-2. Viva the smallest of sample sizes.