Game 2 of the ALCS was postponed Sunday because of heavy rain in the Arlington area. After Game 1 suffered in its quality because of two rain delays, Game 2 was postponed hours before the start of the game.
The game was scheduled to begin at 8:05 p.m. ET, but forecasts near Rangers Ballpark in Arlington called for even more inclement weather Sunday night. Game 2 will now move to Monday, starting at 4:19 p.m.
Perhaps that was because Game 1 had two delays, both in the top of the fifth inning. The first lasted 41 minutes before Texas starter C.J. Wilson came back out and got into trouble immediately. After he loaded the bases, another patch of rain came and delayed the game another hour and nine minutes.
The game finally ended at 1:03 a.m. ET, nearly five hours after the first pitch.
So what does the rain delay mean for the rest of the series? Here are three things to take away:
1. Sunday, instead of Monday, is now the first off day in the series.
This doesn't do much to change both teams' starting rotations, luckily. Both teams' starters slated to go Sunday will now pitch on Monday. That will not hamper them from coming back from their next probable start - Game 6. That game would take place Saturday in Texas. Barring another rainout, both teams should be fine with their respective starting pitching situations.
2. Management of the bullpens becomes critical.
Relievers can usually pitch three days in a row. But rarely, if ever, are they expected to pitch four days in a row. This is due to a combination of fatigue and overall reluctance on managers' parts to throw a pitcher so much.
This rainout would not be so crucial to both managers and their bullpens if it occurred before Game 5 and they lost the travel day between Games 5 and 6.
Now? It could force either Jim Leyland or Ron Washington's hand with respect to their best relievers. Leyland will probably not go to his closer, Jose Valverde, four days in a row. Same for Washington and his closer, Neftali Feliz, who slammed the door on the Tigers in Game 1.
For now, it's actually a help. Washington can use reliever Alexi Ogando, set to have a day off Sunday after pitching two innings in Game 1, after the off day Sunday. But we'll have to wait and see how it affects the teams down the road.
3. Halted momentum?
The saying is that in baseball, momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher. The off day, though, could come at just the right time for the Tigers, who saw their ace Justin Verlander again be limited by rain Saturday with the delays.
The rainout halts the good vibes the Rangers built with their Game 1 victory. The rainout also gives the Tigers time to reflect after the Game 1 loss - usually a good thing.