Yankees: How Thursday’s rainout helps Gerrit Cole and NYY
By Adam Weinrib
The Yankees need as many Gerrit Cole starts as they can get for the rest of the 2020 MLB season.
Yankees fans were dealt an all-too-familiar blow on Thursday evening when, about 45 minutes prior to an all-important first game of a four-game set against the Baltimore Orioles, rainy weather took its official toll.
The game was bagged, Gerrit Cole trudged back to the dugout, and they’ll try again on Friday — twice.
Cole will start the first game and Masahiro Tanaka the second, as the Yankees’ task of holding back the O’s just got a bit tougher, with 14 innings (minimum, based on their last meeting) crammed into one day.
But for fans worried about the rest of Cole’s season, fear not. Every Cole start at this time of year is essential, and despite the rainstorm, our ace is still scheduled to deliver on the same number of potential outings, based on the way the calendar falls.
For the sake of argument, we’ll bump Cole’s outing from today until tomorrow, then calculate the four-day breaks he’ll need for the remainder of the year. Thanks to the off day Monday (that one’s scheduled!), Cole seems likely to go Wednesday 9/16 against Toronto, Monday 9/21 at Toronto, and Saturday 9/26 against the Marlins.
This only alters his schedule in one subtle way — he makes the same number of starts he would’ve if not for the rainout (four, three at home), but he gets an additional crack at Toronto. The old “pitching probables” calculation would’ve had him face the Red Sox on Sunday 9/20 instead of the Jays, who currently occupy second place in the AL East.
Temporary trauma, sure, but not a bad tradeoff.
Thursday’s lineup was supposed to be interesting, with Luke Voit getting his first full day out of the lineup since mid-August. Will Voit sit out both halves of the doubleheader Friday after getting this much-needed maintenance? Unlikely; this accidental day off will hopefully satiate Aaron Boone here.
The Yankees will be back in action (God willing) on Friday afternoon, still just 1.5 game ahead of Baltimore for the final playoff spot. The same exact pressure will be on, but it’ll be a bit more condensed.
Luckily, after a full month of bad breaks, New York may have gotten a slight advantage here.