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ALDS Game 1, Take 2: Tigers, Yanks try again in the Bronx

The New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers will try once again to complete Game 1 of the American League Division Series this evening at Yankee Stadium.

The teams began play on Friday, but rain began to fall shortly thereafter and with the score tied at 1-1, the tarp was brought onto the field before the bottom of the second inning got underway.

The game was suspended over an hour later, so Game 1 will be completed on Saturday and Game 2 will now be played on Sunday in the Bronx, eliminating a scheduled travel day.

Thanks to a rule adopted by Major League Baseball after rain and snow wreaked havoc with the 2008 World Series, the game will pick up Saturday night at the point of suspension.

"We certainly were not going to [re]start the game if we had a forecast of heavy rain," said Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations. "Our forecast was for light, intermittent showers. Obviously, that forecast changed, and we came up with the result that we did."

Rain, though, is again in the forecast for Saturday in the Bronx.

So, the marquee pitching matchup of CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander will have to wait until Monday's Game 3, as both pitchers will be unavailable on Saturday and will now likely only get one start in this series.

"I don't worry about stuff like that," Leyland said. "I think the manager makes a big deal about something like that, it affects the players. It is what it is. Good Lord, it rained. So what?

"It's all about three -- win three, lose three. That's what this is about. The magic number is three for both teams. That's the way it is. There's no sense getting all excited."

Sabathia threw 27 pitches in his two innings and had surrendered a solo home run to Delmon Young in the first, while Verlander, who claimed the American League's Triple Crown in pitching this season, threw 25 pitches in his lone inning of work.

When play resumes, the AL East champion Yankees will now turn to rookie Ivan Nova, who was 16-4 this season with a 3.70 ERA.

"I feel like a No. 1 starter right now," Nova said late Friday night. "It's really exciting."

Nova won eight straight decisions after a stint in the minors and posted a 3.18 ERA in that span, allowing more than four runs in a start just once. He was even better at home during that stretch, going 4-0 with a 2.91 ERA in five Yankee Stadium starts. In all, he's won 12 straight decisions and hasn't lost since falling to the Angels back on June 3.

"It's just been the maturation of him that's gotten him to this point," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, referencing Nova's brief trip to the minors. "It would have been easy for him to storm out or to talk to his buddies and tell them how unhappy he was, and I never heard anything. I never heard a word about his displeasure with anything that we did. He just went to work."

While he is certainly not Verlander, Doug Fister was every bit as important for the AL Central champion Tigers. The right-hander very well may have been the best trade acquisition at the deadline, as he went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) after being picked up from Seattle.

"It's the same start time. It's the same everything," Fister said late Friday. "I'll take the same mentality out there. I don't think it messes up any rhythm for any of us. We're coming in ready to play every out, and that's what it takes."

Fister has been even better of late, posting a 7-0 mark, while allowing one run or less in his last eight outings. He and Verlander combined to go 14-0 with a 1.61 ERA in 16 outings from Aug. 16 to the end of the season.

"I haven't changed any approach, my mindset or figured out a new pitch," he said. "I've been trying to keep hitters off balance and mix pitches a lot more, rather than getting into any patterns. I've talked to [pitching coach Jeff] Jones quite a bit, as far as throwing the curveball more. But other than that, I really couldn't tell you."

However, he's just 1-2 in three starts against the Yankees and has pitched to a 6.00 ERA in those outings.

The Tigers, who beat the Yankees in four games in the 2006 ALDS en route to an AL pennant, also took four of seven from the Yanks during this season after the two teams split the eight-game season series a year ago.

Sunday's Game 2 will pit New York's Freddy Garcia against the Tigers' Max Scherzer.