Looking three days ahead where the big-league schedule is concerned can be a waste of thinking with the way the map changes almost daily due to positive tests for COVID-19 by major leaguers and staff members.
So, while the Yankees playing the Phillies four times next week — two in The Bronx and two in South Philly — is a strong possibility it wasn’t officially on the docket Friday evening.
The Phillies haven’t played since last Sunday when they played host to the COVID-19 infected Marlins and won’t play this weekend.
“I don’t know anything for certain yet,’’ said Aaron Boone, whose team was supposed to face the Phillies in Philly this past Monday and Tuesday before the games were postponed. “I know there is some optimism there, but it is still too early to know one way or another.’’
Didi GregoriusGetty Images
Four games against the Phillies would force the Yankees and Rays to play four in three days in St. Petersburg starting Friday. Two of those games would require a pair of seven-inning games in a doubleheader.
Boone said the reduction of innings for a twin bill is understandable for this strange season.
“I am OK with that, I think there is some wisdom with that,’’ Boone said. “Those situations are now going to arise as we see teams having to postpone games and stuff it looks like, if we are able to do this, doubleheaders are going to be very much part of the thing. This year I think it is wise to shorten things. It wouldn’t be how you draw it up normally, but I totally understand.’’
Boone put Gleyber Torres in the lineup for Friday night’s 5-1 win over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, but he reserved the right to remove the shortstop if his right elbow wasn’t right during indoor batting practice or if he had a problem throwing. But it wasn’t necessary.
Torres, who hit third and went 2-for-4, was hit by a pitch on the elbow Thursday night in the first inning and left the game in the fourth. X-rays were negative.
“He is in the lineup based on a conversation that I had with him,’’ Boone said of his shortstop who hit third and went 2-for-4. “He felt pretty good [Friday]. He is in the lineup for now.’’
A slimmed-down CC Sabathia, who is now a current special adviser in the Yankees’ front office, threw out Friday night’s ceremonial first pitch.
Hal Steinbrenner watched the home opener from the owner’s box. His late brother, Hank, was honored with a video display on the big center-field screen.
The Yankees had blue tarps with no advertising on them covering the seats in the lower bowl for their home opener. Other teams have used cardboard cutouts of fans. The Yankees did pipe in artificial crowd noise during the game.
Yankees radio broadcaster Suzyn Waldman sang the national anthem from the booth prior to the game. Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr. and Alex Verdugo each took a knee along the third baseline while Waldman sang.
The Yankees and Red Sox banged tin can-like lids to honor health care workers from area hospitals as they were introduced before the game. The group included Dr. Paul Lee, the Yankees’ internist.
Geritt Cole has pitched well in two starts, James Paxton got rocked in his start and J.A. Happ was hurt by the home run (two on Thursday night vs. the Orioles). As Masahiro Tanaka will do Saturday, Jordan Montgomery made his initial appearance of the young — but getting old quickly — season Friday night.