Diamondbacks, Yankees hoping for clear skies Sunday

Field Level Media

September 23, 2023 at 5:57 pm.

By the time the Arizona Diamondbacks next take the field, their grip on the second of the National League’s three wild-card spots could be even more tenuous or non-existent.

Arizona will have at least an extra day to figure out how to avoid making bad pitches to Aaron Judge, who homered three times Friday.

After a rainout on Saturday, the Diamondbacks are scheduled to visit the New York Yankees Sunday, but more rain is in the forecast, creating the possibility of rain delays or another postponement.

If the Diamondbacks cannot play Sunday, they will play a doubleheader Monday. Arizona originally was scheduled to visit the Chicago White Sox on Monday but their three-game series was pushed back a day to accommodate the makeup game.

“We’re in a great spot,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “I managed the game at a certain point today to just hang onto some arms, and we’re going to be fine. We’re going to be ready to make adjustments. This whole thing is going to be extremely fluid over the next 24 to 36 hours, and we know that we’ll be ready to play baseball whenever they tell us.”

Arizona (81-73) won five straight before Friday’s 7-1 loss when Judge hit a three-run homer, a two-run shot and a solo drive to go along with a double. Unable to stop Judge, the Diamondbacks saw their lead over the Chicago Cubs sliced to one game heading into Saturday’s play.

The Yankees (78-76) are on the verge of being officially eliminated from the playoff race but are attempting to win three straight after getting standout performances from ace Gerrit Cole and Judge.

A night after Cole pitched eight outstanding innings in a 5-3 win over Toronto, Judge produced his second career three-homer game while tying career highs with four hits and six RBIs.

“You’re watching a great player. That’s greatness,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s just different than everyone else.”

Zach Davies (2-5, 6.81 ERA) was expected to start Saturday and could pitch Sunday, though ace Zac Gallen (16-8, 3.60) originally was supposed to start Sunday.

If Davies makes his first career start against the Yankees, he will attempt to stop a three-start winless slide that has seen him get tagged for 11 runs in 11 innings in three no-decisions.

If Gallen goes against the Yankees for the first time, he is hoping to give the Diamondbacks some better length. In two starts since his three-hitter against the Cubs on Sept. 8, he has allowed 10 earned runs on 14 hits in 10 innings.

Carlos Rodon (3-6, 5.90) is expected to make his final home start in the first season of his six-year deal. Rodon is 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA over his past two outings and allowed three runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings while getting 10 strikeouts on Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Rodon has particularly stumbled at home where he is 1-3 with a 6.59 ERA in six starts. Rodon is pitching in the Bronx for the first time since getting shelled for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings Sept. 7 against the Detroit Tigers.

The left-hander is 0-2 with a 5.91 ERA in four career starts against Arizona.