It’s 2:45 in the morning. It’s still raining here. The Yankees knew they would have a chance to get this game in. The wait lasted four hours and three minutes to get to the first pitch at 11:08 p.m.
“I saw the window, and I thought it was going to be around 10:30, 11 o’clock,” Joe Girardi said after the 5-3 win over the Orioles, a game that ended at 2:15 a.m. “I guess baseball wanted us to wait.”
The preference was to wait and play (and they did in the rain and mist) and not have a day/night doubleheader today, especially with another dicey forecast.
“Doubleheaders are hard on your guys,” Girardi said. “They’re really hard. Jete made a good point. Maybe we should just start half an hour from now and get it out of the way. Both scenarios weren’t great. But now that it’s over, I’m glad it’s done.”
Phil Hughes said players passed the time playing cards or trying to figure out the window. Hughes laid down on a couch at about 8 p.m. and got up at 10, napping for about 45 minutes along the way. Then he allowed just two runs and five hits over six. He wasn’t overly impressed. The two-run homer he gave up in the sixth to Matt Wieters was still eating at him. But Hughes did well enough, especially considering the conditions weren’t great, especially during the fifth-inning downpour.
“It started to come down pretty hard; I think it was the (Nick) Markakis at-bat, the last out of the fifth,” Hughes said. “The ball was so slippery, I just threw a fastball and hoped that ended up somewhere around the plate. I got lucky. I got the ball over the plate and he popped it up.”
Girardi was pleased with Hughes.
“I thought he threw the ball well,” Girardi said. “I thought his curveball might have been the best we’ve seen it all year.”
*Francisco Cervelli hit two homers in the first 176 games and 471 at-bats of his career. Now he has three homers in his last four games, spanning 14 at-bats.
“I just think he’s gotten more comfortable, understands what pitchers are trying to do to him,” Girardi said. “He’s more experienced. He’s gotten stronger over the last couple of years. It’s just learning how to hit up here. I think he’s grown into it a little bit.”
*The Yankees now have a major-league-leading 200 homers, including 30 in their last 14 games.
*Jorge Posada now has three homers in his last six starts.
*Mariano Rivera now is 21 for 21 in save chances at home this season.
*The Yankees have won six straight and nine of 10 to move to a season-high 34 games above .500. They have taken a season-high six straight at home. They are also 13-3 vs. Baltimore, including 7-1 at home. They are 37-10 in their last 47 against the Orioles.
*Right now, weather.com lists a 60 percent chance of rain at 1 p.m. today, about when the series finale is supposed to start. It’s 60 percent at 2 p.m., then 50 percent at 3 p.m., then 30 percent at 4, 5 and 6. A.J. Burnett and Zach Britton are the scheduled starters.
*It’s 3:14 a.m. here in the press box. Still raining. Time to go home. Almost time to come back.