The Yankees, who have been troubled this season by weather delays and postponements, travel snafus and airplane problems, had to make a one-day stop in Detroit two weeks ago to make up a doubleheader and they have two doubleheaders scheduled in Baltimore later this season.
After playing in the Bronx on Sunday against Tampa Bay, the Yankees will return home to play Seattle on Tuesday night.
“It’s different, man, but it’s something that when we walked out of these doors three or four weeks ago, we knew that’s what we were coming back for,” outfielder Brett Gardner said of the near-doubleheader the Yankees were playing on Monday. He was used as a pinch-hitter last month before the game was suspended but sat out the second game on Monday with a sore knee.
A couple of hours before the suspended game restarted, Brett Weber, a Yankees coaching assistant, was staring at a lineup card posted in the clubhouse trying to make sense of what players the Nationals would have available. Two players on the Washington bench on Monday — Daniel Murphy and Adam Eaton — were on the disabled list last month. And, of course, Soto was not even in the big leagues.
Perhaps nobody had a more dizzying experience than Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier. He was notified on May 14 that he would be joining the Yankees here the next day, so he packed up his cats and drove with his girlfriend to Washington, arriving at 1:30 a.m. Frazier got as far as the on-deck circle that night, as a decoy, because Boone wanted the Nationals to think the Yankees were going to pinch-hit for Tanaka.
Frazier went on to play in one game for the Yankees before being sent back down. He was called back up for a makeup doubleheader two weeks ago in Detroit. He picked up two hits that day, then was sent back down still one more time.
And then he was recalled on Monday, once again traveling by car from Scranton.
“I don’t know how the rules work for this game we’re about to play,” said Frazier, who was hit by a pitch in his only plate appearance, as a pinch-hitter in the second game. “I’m just glad to be back. No matter how long it is — I’m just glad to be able to put on a Yankees uniform right now.”
The Nationals, surely, were saying the same about Soto.