Thanks to Tropical Storm Ophelia, Saturday afternoon's Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Yankees game at Yankee Stadium has already been postponed. The two clubs are still scheduled to play Sunday afternoon's game, though there is more rain in the forecast. Another rainout Sunday is possible, if not likely.
Here is the rainout announcement. The Yankees say Saturday's Aaron Judge No. 62 bobblehead promotion has been rescheduled for April 20 of next season. More importantly, Saturday's game is scheduled to made up Monday, which was not a common off-day for the two teams. MLB has rearranged the D-Backs' schedule to make it work.
MLB, which makes all weather-related decisions this late in the season, announced Arizona's game with the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Monday has been rescheduled for Thursday, which is a common off-day for the two teams. The D-Backs will stay in New York and play at least one makeup game with the Yankees on Monday, then go to Chicago and begin that series Tuesday.
Here is the announcement regarding Monday's D-Backs vs. White Sox game on the South Side. Monday was a scheduled off-day for the Yankees, so their schedule requires no adjustment to accommodate the makeup game(s) with Arizona.
This weekend's D-Backs vs. Yankees games are crucial in the NL wild-card race. They could decide where the D-Backs are seeded in the wild-card standings, if not whether they make the postseason at all. When makeup games have no bearing on the postseason race, MLB will cancel them outright, which is why you see a team with 161 games played every few years. That's not an option here.
Here are the NL wild-card standings with nine days remaining in the regular season:
- Philadelphia Phillies: 85-69 (+5 GB)
- Arizona Diamondbacks: 81-73 (+1 GB)
- Chicago Cubs: 80-74
- Miami Marlins: 79-75 (1 GB)
- Cincinnati Reds: 79-76 (1.5 GB)
The alternative to keeping the D-Backs in New York and rescheduling Monday's game with the White Sox is dragging them back to Yankee Stadium on Monday, Oct. 2, and playing any makeup games the day after the regular season is supposed to end. No one wants that, especially not a Yankees team that is out of the race and doesn't want another day added to their schedule.
Sunday's forecast for New York is not good and it is doubtful the Yankees and D-Backs will be able to play a doubleheader to wrap up their series. In that case, a Monday doubleheader at Yankee Stadium seems likely. Both the Yankees and D-Backs will lose their final scheduled off-day of the season, but, at this point, there is no good alternative. The games must be played. They're too important in the NL wild-card race.