Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Yankees, Astros plan Game 4 bullpen day

The Rays Way could play a role in the ALCS.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone talks about his plans for a bullpen day in Thursday's Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium. [KATHY WILLENS | AP]
Published Oct. 15

Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Rays Way could have an impact on the the Yankees and Astros pitching staffs. Both team plan all-bullpen games, a Rays staple dating to last season that has caught on with some other teams, from the start in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series.

With the best-of-seven series tied 1-1, New York’s Luis Severino is scheduled to start Game 3 on Tuesday against Gerrit Cole. Masahiro Tanaka began the opener for the Yankees and James Paxton was on the mound for Game 2.

Neither team had a starting pitcher it wanted to use for Game 4 on Wednesday.

“J.A. Happ could very much be in the mix, as well as I picture our bullpen being unleashed on that day,” New York manager Aaron Boone said Monday as the series shifted to Yankee Stadium.

A starter during the regular season, Happ has relieved during the playoffs. The 36-year-old left-hander entered in the 10th inning of Game 2, escaped a two-out jam, then allowed Carlos Correa’s home run leading off the 11th that gave the Astros a 3-2 win.

Houston manager A.J. Hinch started Zack Greinke in the opener followed by Justin Verlander in Game 2. Hinch anticipates rookie right-hander José Urquidy will pitch at some point in Game 4 but preferred to call it “a bullpen day.”

“That’s the cool thing to say nowadays,” Hinch said. “Maybe Urquidy starts, maybe he comes in the middle of the game. And we go with somebody with a little bit more experience. But we haven’t made that decision. We don’t even know if we’re going to play that day. There’s been a lot of talk about the weather.”

Heavy rain is forecast for Wednesday, and if Game 4 is postponed, Tanaka and Grienke would start Thursday on normal rest.

Boone removed Paxton after 21/3 innings and 51 pitches, and the bullpen allowed two runs and three hits in 72/3 innings. George Springer hit a tying home run in the fifth on Adam Ottavino’s first pitch.

“I don’t think he’s as far off maybe as is being talked, but he’s certainly not as sharp as he’s been most of the year,” Boone said of Ottavino. “I feel like he’s close to being that, and I think some small successes hopefully will spur him on because he needs to play a big role for us.”

Stanton update

Boone said a decision won’t be made until Tuesday on outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who strained his right quadriceps in the opener and missed Game 2.

Limited by injuries to 18 games during the regular season, Stanton homered in the opener. If he were dropped from the roster against the Astros, he would be ineligible to return this year.

“It is a sensitive decision, a tough decision,” Boone said. “We’ll just try and evaluate and try and get as honest as feedback as we can from Giancarlo.”

Aaron Hicks could get his first start since Aug. 3, taking over in centerfield from Brett Gardner, who would replace Stanton in left. Sidelined by an injured flexor near his right elbow, Hicks pinch-hit for starting left fielder Cameron Maybin and grounded out leading off the 10th inning in Game 2, then moved to center.

“Aaron is very much in play,” Boone said, “Thought he had a good at-bat, looked like Aaron Hicks. So he’ll very much be part of the conversation moving forward.”

Severino set to go

After missing most of the season with a lat injury sustained while warming up for his first spring training start, Severino returned for three outings in late September, then wiggled out of trouble to pitch four scoreless innings in Game 3 against Minnesota.

“I don’t need to go out there and strike out 15 people. I just need to go out there and throw a good game,” Severino said,

Back in the Bronx

“I always like our chances going home, especially for three,” Yankees slugger Aaron Judge said. “It’s time to roll. It’s the postseason. We’re going to get it done.”

New York players count on the ability of Yankees fans to rattle opponents.

“They’re going to be just as jacked up as we are,” reliever Tommy Kahnle said.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Tampa Bay Rays' Carlos Pena hits a sixth-inning solo home run off New York Yankees pitcher Sidney Ponson in their baseball game at Yankee Stadium on July 9, 2008. KATHY WILLENS  |  AP
    Just the other day, Pena’s son asked him about being considered for the Hall.
  2. FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2019, file photo, Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter smiles as he speaks during a news conference in Miami. Derek Jeter is among 18 newcomers on the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot, announced Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, and is likely to be an overwhelming choice to join former New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera in Cooperstown after the reliever last year became the first unanimous pick by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File) WILFREDO LEE  |  AP
    Former Rays Carlos Pena and Heath Bell are also among the 18 up for election for the first time.
  3. Long faces dominate some of the remaining Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans during the fourth quarter of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, November 17, 2019, in Tampa. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What remaining game will Tampa Bay be favored to win?
  4. The cover of the book Grassroots Baseball: Where Legends Begin Courtesy Jean Fruth
    The 224-page book features a chapter on Tampa, and an essay by Hall of Famer Wade Boggs.
  5. Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) delivers a pitch in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Oct. 10 in Houston. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Rays Tales: Team execs on Houston’s big problem, a base for winter acquisitions, trophy time and an upcoming owners meeting.
  6. Jameis Winston (3) points to fans after the Bucs' 2017 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay Times
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Previewing Bucs-Saints, justice for the Astros, answers for the Lightning.
  7. FILE - In this July 24, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws to an Oakland Athletics batter during a baseball game in Houston. Verlander has been awarded his second AL Cy Young Award. MICHAEL WYKE  |  AP
    The Mets’ Jacob deGrom wins the NL award for the second straight year.
  8. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash talks with reporters in the dugout the day after clinching a playoff spot. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Former Ray Rocco Baldelli wins top honors after his first season with the Twins, Aaron Boone was second.
  9. Erik Neander, Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, addresses the media during a press conference at Tropicana Field Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Award came from a vote of team executives; Yankees Cashman was second.
  10. Flanked by his mother, Michelle Alonso, left, father Peter Alonso (blue shirt, standing), girlfriend Haley Walsh, right, and friends, New York Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso, 24, reacts as he finds out he has won the National League Rookie of the Year award on Monday at his home in Tampa.  Alonso, a Plant High graduate, made a grand entrance to the big leagues, hitting a major-league rookie and team-record 53 home runs for the Mets. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The easiest part of the day for the travel-weary first baseman may have been receiving the prestigious award.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement