Derek Jeter Night may become an all-day affair.
Weather forecasts predict an onslaught of rain Saturday in New York City, starting as early as 5 a.m. and continuing until Sunday morning.
That means the Yankees’ 1:05 p.m. Saturday matinee against the Astros will almost certainly be cancelled. Manager Joe Girardi is expecting as much. And the game could be rescheduled for Sunday, most likely in the morning, creating a busy day in the Bronx with a day-night doubleheader, plus the pre-planned Jeter ceremony.
As of Friday afternoon, nothing “definitive” had been decided with regards to Saturday’s contest or a potential rescheduling, according to Girardi.
“There’s been nothing etched in stone (as far as) what we’re going to do Sunday if it does happen,” the skipper said before the Yanks took on the Astros at the Stadium. “I think they’d probably wait and see a little bit.”
But the storm is rolling into The Big Apple, whether the Yankees like it or not. The Nationals postponed their game against the Phillies Friday night because of the massive system, which stretches all the way from Maryland’s eastern shore to Texas. The storm will move north through Pennsylvania and New Jersey and into the greater New York City area Friday night and into early Saturday morning.
“We’re going to have a lot or rain,” Girardi said. “And it doesn’t look good.”
If Saturday’s game is postponed and rescheduled for Sunday morning, Girardi doesn’t anticipate it will affect the festivities. Jeter’s jersey retirement will commence at 6:40 p.m., and first pitch of the series finale is slated for 7:30 p.m. So if the teams start the first leg of the doubleheader at, say, 11 a.m., that will provide ample time to complete the game and prepare for Jeter’s big night on Mothers’ Day.
“Mothers might get to see a lot more baseball than they wanted to on Sunday if we do get rained out,” Girardi said with a smile. “But I don’t think it will really change the day a whole lot.”
WHO’S ON FIRST
Matt Holliday started at first base for the third time this season Friday night. Chris Carter, who’s seen the lion’s share of time at first with Greg Bird on the disabled list, was not in the lineup.
Holliday started two games at first during the Yankees’ National League road trip to Chicago last weekend and Cincinnati earlier this week. Girardi liked what he saw, and with Carter struggling at the dish – he’s hitting .200 this season with just one home run – the Yankees manager opted to change things up against Astros righthander Lance McCullers.
Holliday playing first also allowed Girardi to get an extra left-handed hitter in his lineup, as Jacoby Ellsbury started at designated hitter, Holliday’s usual spot.
“We felt comfortable with him there,” Girardi said of Holliday at first.
This isn’t a long-term solution. Girardi still plans on playing Carter at first while Bird rehabs from a bone bruise on his right ankle.
The Yankees are waiting for one of Carter’s patented power bursts, and Girardi remains confident there’s one on the horizon for the 30-year-old journeyman.
“You go by their track record,” Girardi said. “You go by the people that have seen him a lot more than I have.”