Why was tonight's Yankee game postponed?
“Following positive COVID-19 tests within the New York Yankees organization, tonight's game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium has been postponed to allow for continued testing and contact tracing. ... CBS New YorkYankees Game Postponed Following Multiple Positive COVID Tests
First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m.
By the way, it has yet to rain a drop since the originally scheduled start time.
NEW YORK — So much for the improving forecast.
But we’ll update here when we know.
Here’s the report from the National Weather Service:
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31 December, 1969 - 06:00pm
The Boston Red Sox' outfield prospect is in the lineup for Saturday night's game against the New York Yankees in the Bronx. He'll bat sixth and play center field in his first MLB game since being called up from Triple-A Worcester after the MLB All-Star break.
Here's what the Red Sox' first lineup with Duran looks like behind starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi:
Kike Hernandez will play shortstop in place of Xander Bogaerts, who is dealing with some minor wrist soreness, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Saturday.
The No. 3 prospect in Boston's system, Duran had been lighting it up for the WooSox this season with 15 home runs and 32 RBIs and a .946 OPS through 46 games. He was set to debut Thursday night against New York before the game was postponed due to several Yankees positive COVID-19 tests and sat Friday night as New York started left-hander Jordan Montgomery. (Duran bats left-handed.)
The 24-year-old will face Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, who boasts a 2.68 ERA this season but was roughed up for five earned runs in five innings in his last outing against Boston on June 27.
17 July, 2021 - 08:00pm
NEW YORK -- — The Yankees felt like they were hit by a truck this week.
“An invisible, microscopic truck,” ace Gerrit Cole said.
It wasn’t so hard to see what was missing Friday night.
Eduardo Rodriguez shut down short-handed New York into the sixth inning, Christian Arroyo and J.D. Martinez homered, and the Boston Red Sox three-hit their rivals 4-0 Friday night with slugger Aaron Judge and five other Yankees sidelined due to a coronavirus outbreak.
A day after the series opener was postponed for testing and contact tracing, Judge, third baseman Gio Urshela and catcher Kyle Higashioka were added to the COVID-19 injured list. They joined Yankees pitchers Jonathan Loaisiga, Nestor Cortes Jr. and Wandy Peralta, who have also tested positive over the past week.
Fourth-place New York was also without first baseman Luke Voit, who went on the injured list Friday with a bone bruise in his left knee.
“Every day is really important right now,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Today it was important we come out and play well and try to get a W and that didn't happen.”
Rodriguez (7-5) allowed two hits over 5 2/3 innings, retiring 10 straight during one stretch and finishing with eight strikeouts. Hirokazu Sawamura got the final out of the sixth, and Tanner Houck pitched the final three innings to close out Boston's three-hitter for his first big league save.
The AL East-leading Red Sox improved to 7-0 in the 19-game season series and beat New York for the eighth consecutive time, their best run in the rivalry since winning eight straight meetings from 2008-09.
“We have to have that focus walking in the ballpark every day, walking in those doors every day, and rinse and repeat,” Boone said. “The urgency has got to be absolutely there every single day.”
The Yankees were coming off a disappointing first half that ended Sunday when Houston’s Jose Altuve hit a walk-off homer in an 8-7 New York defeat. They’re now nine games back of Boston and likely to be without Judge and their other COVID-19-positive players for at least 10 days.
“The competitive side, yeah, of course we want to come here and win the series,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “But the other stuff, it really sucks.
“It's not about competition," he added. "It's about human beings.”
Arroyo hit a two-run drive during a three-run second inning against starter Jordan Montgomery (3-5) and added a double off Domingo Germán in the seventh.
“When he's using the big part of the field, he becomes very dangerous,” Cora said.
Martinez connected against Justin Wilson in the eighth, lining his 19th of the season into the right field seats for a solo shot that made it 4-0.
Montgomery pitched three-run ball over six innings with three hits allowed, two walks and four strikeouts. New York failed to score with Montgomery on the mound for his fifth straight start, matching Bill Short in 1960 and Fritz Peterson in 1967 for the longest such streak in franchise history, according to STATS.
“I'm just doing my job,” Montgomery said. “Going out there, focusing on hitters, trying to get outs and keep us in it. I'm going to keep being a good teammate and supporting the hitters.”
Judge and Urshela have been among the few consistent performers in New York’s lineup this year. Judge is hitting .282 with 21 homers and a .901 OPS, and the slick-fielding Urshela is batting .275 with 11 homers and a .756 OPS.
New York promoted four hitters from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: first baseman Chris Gittens, infielder Hoy Park, outfielder Greg Allen and catcher Rob Brantly. Outfielder Trey Amburgey was called up Thursday, when left-hander Zack Britton was activated from the 10-day injured list.
The 26-year-old Amburgey started in right field for his major league debut. He hit .312 with seven homers for the RailRiders this season, but he was 0 for 2 on Friday.
Allen pinch hit for Amburgey in the seventh and singled in his first at-bat this year. Park followed with a rally-killing groundout as a pinch-hitter in his first big league action.
Struggling Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out one and walking one on 23 pitches.
At least one of Judge, Urshela and Higashioka was not vaccinated, the Yankees said. Boone said he expects each of the players who tested positive to be out at least 10 days from the time of their positive test. Some of the players are experiencing mild symptoms, but Boone said none has gotten seriously ill.
Players had another round of rapid testing Friday that revealed no other positives.
Rodriguez missed the 2020 season due to complications stemming from COVID-19, including myocarditis. After a slow start this year, the left-hander has a 2.83 ERA in his past five starts, looking more like the pitcher who carried a 3.81 ERA over 203 1/3 innings two seasons ago.
“He’s the guy we saw in 2019,” Cora said.
Boston had planned to start top prospect Jarren Duran in center field Thursday before that game was called off. The lefty-hitting Duran was formally promoted Friday but sat out against the left-handed Montgomery. He will instead get his first start Saturday versus Cole.
Red Sox: Houck was called up from Triple-A. He's likely to join the rotation next week. ... INF/OF Marwin Gonzalez was placed on the 10-day IL with a right hamstring strain, and RHP Austin Brice was designated for assignment.
Yankees: Voit experienced swelling in his knee over the weekend and had it drained, but Boone said the slugger had lingering pain this week. The 2020 major league home run leader was expected to get a platelet-rich plasma injection Friday night, and there’s no timeline for his return. Voit had surgery on the same knee in March to repair a partially torn meniscus.
Cole (9-4, 2.68 ERA) is set to face another AL All-Star on Saturday in Red Sox RHP Nathan Eovaldi (9-5, 3.66).
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New York Mets (47-41, first in the NL East) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (35-56, fifth in the NL Central)
San Francisco Giants (58-32, first in the NL West) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (44-47, fourth in the NL Central)
Houston Astros (56-36, first in the AL West) vs. Chicago White Sox (54-36, first in the AL Central)
Chicago Cubs (45-46, third in the NL Central) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (26-67, fifth in the NL West)
16 July, 2021 - 10:56pm
Perhaps that was how Eduardo Rodriguez viewed Friday night’s start at Yankee Stadium in the first game after the All-Star break.
It sure looked that way when the lefty cruised while lifting the Red Sox to a 4-0 victory over their depleted rivals in the delayed-by-a-day opener of what will now be a three-game series.
With the win, Boston moved to 7-0 against New York this season. The Sox maintained a 1 1/2 game lead against the Rays in the American League East and now lead the Yankees by nine games.
Looking youthful as he pitched without facial hair for the first time in years, Rodriguez allowed just two hits over 5 2/3 scoreless innings, walking two and striking out eight.
Rodriguez threw 96 pitches and generated 13 whiffs out of the 41 swings the Yankees took against him.
It turns out, however, that Rodriguez's clean shave had nothing to do with trying to change his luck and everything to do with pleasing his young daughter Annie.
“I just shaved because my daughter, she’s been on top of me all the time, because every time I hug her she just goes, ‘Daddy, I don’t want that. Shave it please.’ And I was home during the All-Star break and she kept doing it,” said Rodriguez. “And I went to my restroom and I see the razor there and I said, ‘OK I’ll do it for her.’ I’ve had a beard for the last five or six years, so it feels good. I feel like I lost five years. Even my teammates say, ‘Bro you look younger,’ so I feel happy with that.”
After an inconsistent first half in which he posted a 5.52 ERA, Rodriguez expressed confidence recently that he’d get back to himself down the stretch.
Friday was a very good start. Though Rodriguez did falter in Anaheim in his final outing before the break, he has a 2.83 ERA over his last five starts.
For Rodriguez, the key to his turnaround has been the return of the changeup as a big weapon.
“He threw back-to-back-to-back changeups to [Gleyber Torres] and we haven’t seen that in a while with him,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “That’s what it’s all about. He has confidence with all his pitches and now it’s just a matter of going out there and performing.”
But the changeup has typically served as Rodriguez’s best offering. And the inconsistency of it in May and the first half of June explains why he was in such a rut.
“I was comfortable with the changeup since I started baseball, even when I was a little kid I feel like I could throw that changeup in any count,” said Rodriguez. “That’s how much trust I have in it, 3-2, 2-2, I feel like if I locate the changeup it’s going to work. So that’s how it’s been for me, you guys have been seeing it a lot.”
Rodriguez credits the work he did with pitching coach Dave Bush a few weeks back on a side day when he used the Rapsodo machine to help him key in on reducing the speed of the pitch from the high 80s to the low to mid 80s.
Rodriguez threw 25 changeups on Friday, averaging 85.3 mph.
“Four or five starts ago against the Yankees, the first changeup I threw was like 84, 83 [mph] and now I tell [catcher Christian Vázquez] every time he’s behind the plate, ‘Bro, every time you see a changeup up there 88, 89 just slap me in the face or tell me something,’ because I feel like that’s working [at a slower speed],” Rodriguez said.
The Boston bats allowed Rodriguez to pitch with a lead for most of the night. Christian Arroyo highlighted a three-run top of the third with a two-run homer to right-center.
“He just kind of mixed and match and we just didn't pressure him. You know, we didn't, we couldn't mount anything enough to really, ever really put them in any significant trouble,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “So it allowed him to, obviously with a lead, be super aggressive. And I think he just pitched with a lot of confidence.”
The Red Sox didn’t accomplish much after that against Jordan Montgomery, but they didn’t need to. This was thanks to Rodriguez and a strong effort by the bullpen, which included a three-inning save by the team’s No. 6 prospect Tanner Houck, fresh off a call-up from Triple-A Worcester.
Houck warmed up for his upcoming start against the Blue Jays on Wednesday with a dazzling effort in which he threw 49 pitches and topped out at 96.5 mph with his fastball.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it for the rest of my life, I don’t want to take anything away from this team,” Houck said. “Whatever they call upon me to do, that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll step up and do whatever role they need me to do.”