And to close out this quick interleague streak on Wednesday night, fans will pay their hard-earned cash to see the… pitcher game.
… Asher Wojciechowski and a Phillies relief pitcher who will be named later.
No disrespect to these two gentlemen, who have achieved their own level of hard-earned success. It’s just that their presence in such a big spot, at such a critical time in the calendar, reflects the reality of this 2021 season. If that’s better than its immediate process thanks to the full slate and full capabilities of the stadiums it is still defined by COVID chaos.
“It’s inevitable in this game, it has certainly been inevitable over the past couple of years with what we’ve been dealing with as a country, as a nation and as a world with the pandemic and things.” Boone said on Tuesday, before the two middle clubs opened their streak at Yankee Stadium. “So you have to be able to handle it. You have to be able to make adjustments and have a number of different people, [and it’s] imperative that they intensify. And this is a great opportunity for people to do so.
“It’s really weird,” Girardi said. ” [Just when] you think… you can let your guard down, it pops up.
He appeared for the Phils just before the All-Star break at Fenway Park as third baseman Alec Bohm left the July 10 Phillies-Red Sox game when Major League Baseball learned of a positive COVID test and, As a result, three other players – including Tuesday night starting pitcher Aaron Nola – were taken off the roster due to contact tracing. And then again on Tuesday, as pitchers Bailey Falter and JD Hammer entered the COVID injured list.
The Phillies are one of seven MLB teams that failed to meet the 85 percent vaccination threshold that frees clubs from the myriad of COVID restrictions. The Yankees are one of 23 teams to reach that percentage, but that didn’t stop them from suffering their second appearance of the season, with Aaron Judge leading a squad of six players disabled due to positive tests. Not all of these six are vaccinated.
Sign of the times, the Yankees announced about 45 minutes before the first pitch that they had struck DJ LeMahieu, who was supposed to start on first base, with a stomach virus. In anticipation of the follow-up issue, the club added that LeMahieu had already taken a rapid COVID test, which came back negative. That meant the Yankees started the game without three of their four most valuable positional players – with Gio Urshela joining Judge as part of the quarantined six guys (one of those six, Jonathan Loaisiga, returned to the team, but not in the active list).
After the Phillies closed the first half with their second straight win over the Bosox on July 11, “I probably said ‘Phew!’ “Said Girardi,“… because I knew I didn’t have to worry about COVID for three or four days, right? It was nice. But just when you think your team is on a roll, it seems like something is popping up and you have to face it. “
Illness, of course, remains a concern to varying degrees for most people on this planet, and the reality is that sport can only serve as a certain distraction when COVID doesn’t leave this arena either.
So maybe you have a hard time seeing if Wojciechowski, owner of a 5.95 ERA in 57 career big-league games, can find a way to solve the Phillies for a trip or two through their order, and if Girardi can lead his relief corps through the emaciated Yankees lineup.
It’s not the Yankees-Phillies showdown that you envision in your perfect world. Therefore, you hope everyone on the COVID injured list is okay, and then you get into a 2021 style football game, not quite sure who you will see and curious about who can capitalize on their unexpected opportunity.