NEW YORK – The banged-up New York Yankees are getting an unexpected but much-needed rest.
New York’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates that was scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Friday was postponed six hours before game time because of a forecast of inclement weather throughout the night.
The game will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader Sunday with the opener starting at 1:05 p.m. Only tickets for Sunday’s game will be honored.
It’s the first one-ticket doubleheader hosted by the Yankees since Sept. 29, 2004, against Minnesota, according to STATS.
Pittsburgh’s Edinson Volquez (1-3) was scheduled to face New York’s David Phelps (0-0) Friday night in the Pirates’ first game at the newest version of Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009. Phelps will now start Saturday and Hiroki Kuroda will be given an extra day of rest. He and Vidal Nuno, who pitched for the Washington Wild Things in 2011, will start in the doubleheader, the order still to be determined.
This is the third postponement for each team this season.
The rain gives Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki an extra day of rest. He has not played since Sunday, when he hurt his back attempting a catch in Milwaukee. Once healthy, Suzuki should see more playing time because Carlos Beltran was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a bone spur in his right elbow.
“I’m getting better but not to the point where I’m capable of swinging the bat 100 percent,” Beltran said Thursday.
The Yankees (21-19) are coming off back-to-back shutouts of the crosstown rival Mets with Masahiro Tanaka winning 4-0 Wednesday, his first complete game in the major leagues. A night later, rookie Chase Whitley pitched two-hit ball for 4 2/3 innings of a 1-0 win that gave the New York a split of the four-game Subway Series.
Whitley made his major league debut in place of ace CC Sabathia, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee injury. Phelps was scheduled to make his third start since replacing Michael Pineda in the rotation. Phelps first joined the rotation when Pineda was suspended 10 days for having pine tar on his neck in a game at Boston. The right-hander remained in the starting five when Pineda injured a muscle in his upper back pitching a simulated game April 29, during his ban.
Phelps gave up four runs and eight hits over five-plus innings Sunday, when the Yankees lost 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth at Milwaukee.
The Pirates (17-23) come to New York after a 4-3, walkoff loss Thursday, also at the Brewers. Former Yankees reliever Mark Melancon blew the save filling in for injured closer Jason Grilli.
The Pirates have not won in New York since the start of interleague play, losing three in a row in 2005 and ‘07. They took one of three in Pittsburgh in 2008.
Pirates catchers Chris Stewart and Russell Martin both played for the Yankees, and they’ve seen how the new ballpark can be hitter friendly for batters swinging from the left side.
“Every stadium kind of has their pros and cons, and that’s definitely one of them for left-handers, and some right-handers like to go the other way,” Stewart told MLB.com. “I’ve seen popups over there that have sailed out.”
That could bode well for slugging third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who grew up in the Bronx and has eight homers.
The ballpark also suits Ike Davis well. The first baseman will be returning to the city where he played his entire career for the Mets in Queens until being traded to Pittsburgh April 18.