Joe Girardi rules out CC Sabathia to start Game 2 of the ALDS on Sunday

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Barring a last-minute change of plans, we can now say that CC Sabathia will only make one start during the ALDS against the Tigers.

While there was some buzz late last night that Sabathia could talk his way into pitching tomorrow, Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com this morning they will hold him back until Game 3 on Monday in Detroit. The big left-hander was ruled out as a possibility after throwing 27 pitches over two innings last night and 48 pitches during warmups.

As Matthew concluded last night, this means we’ll likely see the following matchups during 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 (if necessary): Rick Porcello vs. A.J. Burnett
Game 5 (if necessary): Doug Fister vs. Ivan Nova

As of now, there’s still one off-day left in the series, so Nova and Fister would be going on full rest in a potential deciding Game 5.

Pitch clock cut minor league games by 25 minutes to 2:38

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NEW YORK — Use of pitch clocks cut the average time of minor league games by 25 minutes this year, a reduction Major League Baseball hopes is replicated when the devices are installed in the big leagues next season.

The average time of minor league games dropped to 2 hours, 38 minutes in the season that ended Wednesday, according to the commissioner’s office. That was down from 3:03 during the 2021 season.

Clocks at Triple-A were set at 14 seconds with no runners on base and 19 with runners. At lower levels, the clocks were at 18 seconds with runners.

Big league nine-inning games are averaging 3:04 this season.

MLB announced on Sept. 9 that clocks will be introduced in the major leagues next year at 15 seconds with no runners and 20 seconds with runners, a decision opposed by the players’ association.

Pitchers are penalized a ball for violating the clock. In the minors, violations decreased from an average of 1.73 per game in the second week to 0.41 in week 24.

There will be a limit of two pickoff attempts or stepoffs per plate appearance, a rule that also was part of the minor league experiment this season. A third pickoff throw that is not successful would result in a balk.

Stolen bases increased to an average of 2.81 per game from 2.23 in the minors this year and the success rate rose to 78% from 68%.

Many offensive measurements were relatively stable: runs per team per game increased to 5.13 from 5.11 and batting average to .249 from .247.

Plate appearances resulting in home runs dropped to 2.7% from 2.8%, strikeouts declined to 24.4% from 25.4% and walks rose to 10.5% from 10.2%. Hit batters remained at 1.6%.