Game 1’s 27-hour rain delay threw a hitch into the Yankees’ and Tigers’ rotation plans for the ALDS.
On Sunday morning, we got a bit of clarity.
According to beat writer Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger, Yankees manager Joe Girardi revealed in his pre-game press conference Sunday that staff ace CC Sabathia will indeed start Game 3 and A.J. Burnett will take the mound in a potential Game 4.
Ivan Nova will return for Game 5, if needed.
Sabathia pitched two innings of Game 1 Friday before the rain began pouring at Yankee Stadium, allowing one earned run but fanning four batters without issuing a walk. He had a 3.00 regular-season ERA.
Burnett posted a 5.15 ERA and 1.43 WHIP across 190 1/3 innings during the regular season. He has a 5.67 career ERA in the playoffs and allowed five earned runs over six innings in last year’s ALCS vs. the Rangers.
The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.
We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”
Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.