(Updated: 6:30 p.m.) Tonight’s game between the Orioles and Yankees has been postponed due to rain. No makeup date has been announced, but there’s no real urgency considering New York comes to town two more times this season.
Brad Bergesen will pitch on Saturday and Jake Arrieta will take the hill on Sunday for the Orioles. Right-handed pitcher Chris Tillman, Saturday’s scheduled starter, will be skipped in the rotation and is dealing with a right groin issue.
Tillman could be used out of the bullpen until a fifth starter is needed again next Saturday. He is 0-2 with a 6.16 earned run average in four starts this season.
The Yankees return to Baltimore for a brief two-game series in the middle of the week on May 18-19 and for a four-game weekend series on Aug. 26-29. Neither series provides scheduled days off before or after the series, making a doubleheader the likely scenario for the makeup game.
BALTIMORE — It figures to be a rainy, miserable night at Camden Yards, but the Orioles (8-10) expect to get this one in as the New York Yankees (10-6) come to town in an early-season litmus test for third-place Baltimore.
After going 5-13 against the Yankees in 2010, the struggling Orioles — losers of nine of their last 11 — were swept in an abbreviated two-game set last week in the Bronx and will try to get their offense on track against the dominating C.C. Sabathia. The Yankees ace is still winless on the season despite a 2.52 earned run average in four starts. The big lefty owns a 14-2 career record against Baltimore, which is the highest winning percentage all-time against the franchise since 1954.
“I think what a lot of people miss about Sabathia is what a pitcher he is,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. This guy’s evolved into quite a pitcher, not a thrower. You look at the percentage of fastballs that he throws earlier in the season compared to later in the season, he understands when he’s carrying that stuff and he’s not.”
He’ll be opposed by Brad Bergesen, who will make his third start of the season after a brief demotion to Triple-A Norfolk in which he actually remained in Baltimore before being recalled. In his three career starts against the Yankees, the right-hander is 0-2 with a 6.60 ERA. Bergesen appeared in relief against the Yankees on April 13, striking out two in two innings of work.
In injury news, Brian Matusz completed a 120-foot flat-ground session earlier today and experienced no setbacks. He is scheduled to rest on Saturday and will throw from 120 feet again Sunday. If all goes well, Showalter said the lefty will throw from the mound on Tuesday.
“Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, hopefully that’s the start of him getting on the rubber,” Showalter said. “But today was very encouraging.”
Shortstop J.J. Hardy continues to move closer to baseball-related activity, but will not come off the disabled list when eligible on April 25.
And after a well-documented and tumultuous offseason, right-handed pitcher Alfredo Simon has pitched in two extended spring training games in Sarasota. The organization is looking to stretch him out as a starter and has lost 30 pounds since last season, according to Showalter.
As for how he lost the weight, I’ll leave the speculation and snarky remarks to you.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups:
SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson CF
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
2B Robinson Cano
RF Nick Swisher
DH Jorge Posada
C Russell Martin
LF Brett Gardner
SP C.C. Sabathia (0-1, 2.52 ERA)
2B Brian Roberts
RF Nick Markakis
1B Derrek Lee
DH Vladimir Guerrero
CF Adam Jones
3B Mark Reynolds
C Matt Wieters
LF Jake Fox
SS Robert Andino
SP Brad Bergesen (0-2, 3.38 ERA)