Yankees fans have to wait an extra day to try and knot things back up.
Major League Baseball decided to move Game 4 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Astros back to Thursday night after rain and heavy winds swept through the Bronx on Wednesday.
While the inclement weather was in the forecast for days, MLB didn’t make the call to postpone the game until just before noon on Wednesday.
Now the remaining schedule of the series is drastically changed as there will be no travel day between Games 5 and 6, meaning the teams could play as many as four-consecutive games if the series goes seven.
The extra off day will allow both the Yankees and Astros an extra day to rest their pitchers, guaranteeing another marquee matchup on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.
Houston will be able to start Zack Greinke on regular rest rather than experiment with a bullpen game. The initial hope entering the postseason was that veteran righty Wade Miley would be able to make a Game 4 start after the Astros’ big three, but he was left off the ALCS roster after getting smacked for three runs on four hits in 2.2 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.
Pitting Miley against a much more imposing Yankees lineup in the Bronx would have spelled disaster for the Astros, which left manager AJ Hinch relying on the possibility of a bullpen game.
The extra day allows the Astros to push that game back for a little while longer as Greinke will be looking to rebound after allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings during Game 1, which the Yankees won 7-0.
For the Yankees, Game 4 getting pushed back would allow manager Aaron Boone to skip starting a reliever such as Chad Green in a bullpen game, as well.
The Yankees bullpen has been used plenty throughout the first three games of the ALCS, pitching 15.1 of a possible 27 innings this series. The Astros’ bullpen has pitched just 9.1 innings during that same stretch.
It was the expected strategy used by Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who made it known that he wasn’t going to let his starting pitchers get into any kind of trouble during the ALCS.
But with the innings mounting up, Masahiro Tanaka will get the ball as he continues to build his impressive postseason resume — and maybe eat some innings in the process.
Tanaka pitched a gem in Game 1, facing the minimum over six innings while allowing just one hit. He was lifted after just 68 pitches by Boone, who kept the 30-year-old fresh to get to his bullpen.
He might need more from Tanaka Thursday night as the Yankees have lost two-straight to Houston after stealing Game 1 in decisive fashion. Tuesday night saw Astros ace Gerrit Cole shut down New York, holding them scoreless for seven innings in a 4-1 victory.
But the righty is just the man the Yankees want to see toeing the rubber for Game 4. In his career, he’s 5-2 in the postseason with a 1.32 ERA and 0.73 WHIP.