For second straight night, Yanks-Tribe a wash
CLEVELAND -- The Indians headed into this season staring at a schedule that lacked a planned off-day for nearly two weeks. A couple of gray, wet evenings in Cleveland have since provided them with a pair of unexpected days of rest.
Thursday's game against the Yankees was postponed due to inclement weather, marking the second straight night that the clubs' game was washed away by rain. In the wake of the two rainouts, the Indians have reorganized their rotation.
"When things come at you," manager Terry Francona said, "you try to take anything that could remotely be a negative and turn it into a positive. So that's what we're trying to do."
Sinkerballer Justin Masterson will start as planned on Friday in the opener of a three-game set with the rival White Sox. Following Masterson will be right-hander Zach McAllister, who was the scheduled starter on Thursday. McAllister will now start against Chicago on Saturday, pushing righty Ubaldo Jimenez to Tuesday, against the Red Sox.
On Monday, in the opener of what was supposed to be a four-game series with the Yankees, Jimenez allowed seven runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He was a mess mechanically, but Francona said he looked better during a bullpen session on Wednesday. Jimenez will throw off a mound on Saturday.
"Ubaldo, he had a really good, healthy side yesterday," Francona said on Thursday.
Right-hander Brett Myers will pitch as originally scheduled on Sunday against the White Sox, and the Indians then have an off-day on Monday.
New York (4-4) won the only two games played in this abbreviated series, outscoring Cleveland (3-5) by a combined score of 25-7.
"I feel like we've just started off slow," Masterson said. "That's more or less what it is. We've put together some good games, and we've put together some not-as-good games. Fundamentally, we've been decent. We've been pretty good that way. It's just our pitching, we've got behind a lot of guys.
"I don't think we're doing very good at throwing strikes in the overall sense -- any of us. And then the offense, we've had some good times, some bad times. That's just kind of what it's been. There hasn't been any consistency, really, yet."
No makeup date for either rainout has been announced, but there has been speculation that New York might return to Cleveland for a doubleheader on May 13. Fans who planned on attending the Wednesday or Thursday games should hold on to their tickets until the makeup date (or dates) are made public.
At one point on Thursday, the Indians announced that the game would start at 8:30 p.m. ET. The players were informed, the lineups were announced in the stadium and the ceremonial first pitch took place in foul territory along the third-base line, considering the tarp remained on the field.
Francona briefly believed that the game was going to be played.
"We got close, man. I was walking out," he said. "Right when we were walking out, it started raining again. That's how close we came. We wanted to play. There's so many decisions. It's hard, because you're trying to respect the fans, and you're trying to respect the teams. It's the weather. You do the best you can."