How Wednesday’s ALCS rainout could shuffle Astros’, Yankees’ pitching plans

Game 3 of the ALCS began under a clear, azure, late-afternoon sky on Tuesday in the Bronx. It ended under a clear, darkened sky on a crisp evening with a mostly full moon shining high above Yankee Stadium.

But the weatherman had bad news, and Wednesday’s Game 4 was postponed to Thursday. So, who benefits more: the Houston Astros and their power-trio rotation, or the New York Yankees and their deep but heavily used bullpen?

“Very easy for us,” Hinch said of the short-term plan. “It was our plan if this happened. It’s Zack’s normal day. He was going to pitch on Thursday no matter what game number it was. JV on a regular rest in Game 5. The sooner we can use our best pitchers, the better for us. It was an easy decision.”

Yankees manager Aaron Boone hinted at his part of the scenario before Game 3, saying, “Tanaka would be in play.” He confirmed those plans Wednesday nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

Boone’s Game 1 starter, Masahiro Tanaka, blanked the Astros over six innings Saturday while throwing just 68 pitches to get through the Houston lineup exactly two times. With Wednesday’s game postponed, Tanaka will take the mound Thursday working on a normal four days’ rest.1

Boone said that Yankees Game 2 starter James Paxton would take the hill in Game 5 to face Verlander for the second time during the ALCS.

“I plan on [Paxton] pitching Game 5,” Boone said. “We’ve prepared him for that. He threw a side yesterday, so that’s our thought.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

On Tuesday, Hinch was more circumspect when asked about weather scenarios, saying that his focus was on Game 3. Now, he’s keeping his focus on Games 4 and 5, where it probably should be.

“Very easy to start to map things out and a lot of what-ifs,” Hinch said. “Now that our pitching is set, we know we’re going to have pretty good weather. I think it’s important for us not to look too far ahead.”

Both managers on Monday announced plans to go with bullpen days for Game 4 in lieu of a reliable No. 4 starter for either club. That bullpen day is no longer necessary — for now.

“It gives everybody a day off and an opportunity to collect ourselves before Game 4,” Hinch said. “It changes our pitching a little bit. How beneficial [that is will] probably be easier to answer after I see how guys perform and how the pitching plays out.”

As for the players, hey, sometimes it rains, and the life of the ballplayer is to show up for work and play when they tell you to.

“I don’t know how it’s going to work, but we’re going to show up ready to play tomorrow,” Astros third baseman Alex Bregman said, likely speaking for all 50 players on both ALCS rosters. “If we’re rained out, we’ll get ready for the next day.”