Ernie Banks famously said “Let’s play two.”
Had he been a manager, he might not have said that with the same enthusiasm. The Yankees were rained out in the Bronx on Tuesday, meaning they’ll play a one-admission doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon.
Many fans fondly remember the days of single admission twinbills but Joe Girardi analyzed some of the negative aspects. “I think what it does to the players from a physical standpoint, the way you’re able to use your bullpen in a game and how it affects it the next day,” Girardi said. “Because you can realistically use six or seven relievers in a doubleheader. Some guys are probably going to have to play 18 innings. The off day is nice but then from a physical standpoint that takes its toll.”
New York has played two doubleheaders this year, splitting both. On May 14, the Yankees beat the Astros 11-6 but then lost the nightcap after retiring Derek Jeter’s number as Masahiro Tanaka was hit hard early in a 10-7 loss. On July 16, the Yankees and Red Sox traded 3-0 wins at Fenway, one day after the teams played a 16-inning game.
Coincidentally, both game two losses were Sunday night games on ESPN.
Jaime Garcia and Jordan Montgomery will be the starters in tomorrow’s doubleheaders. Garcia hasn’t pitched six innings in any of his four starts as a Yankee, but perhaps Girardi would be inclined to push him a little more because of the doubleheader.
Playing 18 innings before the Red Sox come to town for a crucial four-game series isn’t ideal but the Yankees have no choice. “It is what it is and you gotta handle it and we’ll be prepared for it,” Girardi said. “The day off will help the guys today but they’ll be tired tomorrow, so we’ll figure it out.”
Struggling slugger Aaron Judge will return tomorrow, after being given a break by Girardi. Judge was out on Monday and would’ve been on the bench if Tuesday’s game had been played. “It’s worked a lot of times for a lot of guys,” Girardi said. “I can’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen, but physically I think he’s going to feel a lot fresher than he probably did.”