With a rare split doubleheader looming and heat on its way to blanketing Fenway, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has plenty on his plate, not the least of which is dealing with the well-being of his players.
“Split doubleheaders? It’s long days,” he said. “Do I enjoy them? Let me tell you, I’d prefer not to have them. And I worry about our players. The great thing is we’re going into the break, and don’t have the four days to recover. But you really worry about when you don’t have those extra days to recover.”
For Game 1, he shuffled the New York lineup to brace for the long day ahead, sitting Curtis Granderson and sliding everyone up a spot in the order. Mark Teixeira will hit second for just the 13th game in his career. Alex Rodriguez, batting third and playing third base in the afternoon, will get the rest in the night game, Girardi said.
As far as his bullpen goes, Girardi, who needed four relievers in last night’s 10-8 series-opening win, said that, given Thursday’s day off, he was not worried about pitching relievers on consecutive days. If he needs to use a lefty in both ends of today’s doubleheader, it will most likely be Clay Rapada, given that Boone Logan got the win after 0.2 innings pitched last night.
“I’m OK, because we had a day off the day before,” Girardi said. “We need some distance out of our starters, just like they do.”
Chris Stewart will catch the first game, giving Russell Martin a rest. In his past nine games, Martin is 0 for 29.
“Yeah, you worry a little bit,” Girardi said of his catcher’s slump. “Let’s hope we can break it tonight and get through it. It’s frustrating as a hitter. I’ve got to believe that if you’ve played substantially, everyone’s been through an 0 for 20 or a 1 for 30. That’s part of the game, but it doesn’t make it any easier when you’re going through it. And you worry about it a little bit.
“The big thing is saving runs. I don’t get caught up in offense. But I think you’ll see a different guy in the second half.”
Per the new collective bargaining agreement, teams can place a 26th man on their rosters for doubleheaders. For the Yankees, that meant bringing up reliever Cory Wade.
“I don’t know if anyone else in the league has done it yet,” Wade said. “I guess there’s a first for everything. If you want to say it’s an honor to be the first 26th major-league baseball player, I guess I’ll take it.”
Assorted tidbits from Girardi’s pregame press conference:
On the catching situation in Boston: I think any time you change, it’s going to be different. That’s the nature of the game. It’s kind of like when Jorge [Posada] was here forever. The game moves on, and I think Salty’s done a pretty good job for them. Jason [Varitek] was a great catcher here, a leader, but I think Salty’s done a pretty good job.
On the heat: I’m always concerned with a split doubleheader, especially with the games here, because, as you notice, we don’t play them very quickly. There’s going to be a lot of baseball today. I’ll watch them, and hopefully we have some cloud cover.
On whether he has someone in town in case a move needs to be made between games: My daughter’s here. She’s got a pretty good arm. Right-handed.