During his pregame chat with the press, Joe Girardi said the Yankees and Orioles had initiated talks about playing a doubleheader Friday to squeeze a couple games in before Hurricane Irene sets to ravaging the east coast. Well, it appears those talks went something like this:
Yanks: “Can we play a doubleheader Friday?”
Orioles: “No.” (click)
MLB.com’s Jordan Schelling is reporting that the Orioles won’t budge. That could potentially pin the Yankees’ pitching rotation even firmer against the wall. Girardi said A.J. Burnett and Ivan Nova would start a potential Friday doubleheader. But if the teams indeed play one game and find themselves washed out on Saturday and Sunday, the Yanks will be left with two days off the remainder of the season and three extra games to play. Wow.
Girardi expected the Yankees to know for sure whether they would play two tomorrow by the end of today.
“I don’t know how else you make them up. I don’t know if you make them up at our ballpark. I don’t know if they’re made up in December,” he said.
As for the pitching, “I think we’ll take it day by day and see what we’re going to do,” Girardi said. “It could be a mess so I can’t really tell you. … There’s a ton of scenarios, so we’ll probably just have to take it day by day and be kind of flexible.”
Girardi said he worries about the potential of multiple doubleheaders and an overcrowded scheduled, especially because of the age on his club.
“You don’t want games piled up because fatigue and injuries are a concern,” he said.
• As you already know, Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to return to the lineup today and play third base. I say “scheduled” not just because of the rain.
Girardi said he wrote Rodriguez’s name in the lineup with the assumption he could return, but it will depend on how A-Rod responds to a pregame workout.
“I don’t know yet,” Girardi said. “So I figured it was easier to put the lineup up instead of waiting until noon to put the lineup up after he goes through the drills. If he can’t play, we’ll make adjustments as needed.”
Rodriguez returned Sunday for the first time since July 7 and went 0 for 5. He jammed his thumb fielding a Joe Mauer ground ball during the game. It affected him during BP Tuesday night and he was a late scratch.
• The Yankees heard it was supposed to rain until 2. “After that we should be OK,” Girardi said…of course, he said, other than another shower in that period and more rain at 7. Obviously, it’s not much of a window.
• A.J. Burnett is scheduled to pitch tomorrow night for the first time since his embarrassing start last Saturday, when he allowed seven earned in 1.2 innings in Minnesota. Although the looming string of washouts could save Burnett’s spot in the rotation for now, Girardi insisted the right-hander has to pitch better. Now.
“We need him to pitch well, no doubt about it,” Girardi said. “It’s a big start.”
• After pitching for Scranton on Monday, Freddy Garcia (finger) is scheduled to start during Saturday’s ill-fated doubleheader. But with that appearing unlikely, Girardi said the club won’t activate him until it needs to.
• Girardi didn’t use Mariano Rivera for the 10th inning Wednesday night. Instead, he inserted Rafael Soriano, who promptly served up the eventual game-winning home run to Coco Crisp. Girardi said he would rather not use Rivera for two innings unless it is a postseason situation.
“It seems like when we use him two innings, you really have to be careful for a couple of days,” he said. “I don’t really want to do that. If it’s playoff baseball, we’re talking about a different story. But we are talking about a guy who’s 41 years old and it’s dangerous. This is a guy we can’t afford to lose.”