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Yankees-Orioles rained out; doubleheader scheduled for Saturday

Manager Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees

Manager Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees looks on before a game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

BALTIMORE - The Yankees received at least one more day to recover from Thursday night's celebration.

Heavy rain, which greeted the club when it arrived from New York in the early-morning hours, caused the postponement of Friday night's game against the Orioles at Camden Yards.

The game will be made up as part of a split-admission doubleheader Saturday, with the first game scheduled to start at 12:05 p.m. and the second at 7:05.

"Probably there's a few boys who could use today off anyway," Girardi said with a smile after the game was postponed.

Ivan Nova is scheduled to start the first game and Luis Severino, who had been scheduled to pitch Friday night, will start the second. Girardi said, however, that depending on the result of Friday night's game between the Astros and Diamondbacks in Arizona, that could change.

An Astros loss would have assured the Yankees -- who clinched a wild-card berth Thursday night -- of home-field advantage for Tuesday night's wild-card game and made their remaining games meaningless. "That would be the best-case scenario, yes," Girardi said.

But regardless of that outcome, Girardi already had the weekend mostly planned out.

His intention is to get lefty relievers Justin Wilson and Andrew Miller some work but not use Dellin Betances much, if at all. He leads all Yankees relievers with 83 innings. "Dellin I would use very sparingly," he said.

Chasen Shreve spent much of the season as one of Girardi's most trusted relievers, but the last month was a nightmare for the lefthander. He has allowed 13 hits -- including four homers -- five walks and seven runs in 42/3 innings in his last eight games, and hitters had a .520/.600/1.000 slash line against him.

Girardi hopes to use the weekend to rebuild his confidence in time for the postseason, when a manager never can have too many arms -- especially lefthanded ones -- at his disposal.

"We're going to use the next couple of days to try to get him back on track," Girardi said. "Obviously, I wouldn't use him in two games [Saturday], but it is possible we could use him Saturday and Sunday and see if we can get that mojo back. He's been through a tough month, a really tough month. And it's a kid that's really, this is his first full season up here, and there are ups and downs and we want to try to get him through it."

Girardi and his staff will spend much of the weekend trying to figure out whom to put on the 25-man roster for the wild-card game against an opponent to be determined. Girardi again indicated that Masahiro Tanaka is all but certain to start that game and said he'll take "more than one" starter for the bullpen for a just-in-case scenario. Severino and a suddenly rejuvenated CC Sabathia are likely picks.

Girardi said pinch-running specialist Rico Noel is a strong candidate to be put on the wild-card roster and beyond, if the Yankees win. "When you need a stolen base, he can go get it," he said. "Those guys can become very important in a playoff series, so he's definitely on our radar."

As for the opponent, which looks as if it will be the Astros, Twins or Angels, Girardi said "they all present their challenges." He sounded as if he wouldn't mind if it took an extra day, meaning a playoff game on Monday, for things to shake out.

"The fact they're playing a bunch of days in a row and maybe they're using people they don't want to and maybe they got to use relievers for possibly the third day in a row," Girardi said. "They have to travel. It's just a lot of things that could be advantageous."


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