NEW YORK - The tarp remains on the field as a mist falls at Yankee Stadium. There’s a sense of optimism that the game will start on time, but the conditions are sloppy at best.
Whether it goes uninterrupted is another story.
The Yankees haven’t been keeping an open weather dialogue with the Orioles.
Asked what he’s heard about the forecast, Showalter replied, “Nothing. They haven’t said a word to us. I’ll stop right there. That’s kind of the way it goes.”
Showalter joked about playing a tripleheader on Sunday. It won’t come to that, but the rain could create more of a mess than just standing water on the warning track.
Showalter probably won’t confirm Sunday’s starter until after Saturday afternoon’s game against the Yankees.
“When we get to Sunday, we’ll put our best foot forward,” Showalter said. “We’ll worry about Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday if we get there.”
Kevin Gausman is a strong candidate for Sunday, but other factors could come into play.
“We’ve got A, B and C there,” Showalter said.
Dylan Bundy could be available in the bullpen this weekend, but not tonight.
Is the focus now on getting the home wild card instead of just making the playoffs?
“The focus is on trying to win these nine innings tonight,” Showalter replied. “Our guys feel that way. There’s a lot of different things that will cloud your mind if you let them. There really isn’t much talk about this, that and whatever. It’s about these nine innings.
“Our guys really take a mature approach to it. They know everything doesn’t matter if we don’t take care of business. We’re playing a team that’s playing as good as any team in the American League.”
Wade Miley, tabbed as Saturday’s starter, is returning to the club tonight after the birth of his son. He was having trouble getting to the ballpark due to the weather and heavy traffic.
Alvarez’s playing time has decreased with Bourn becoming more of a presence in the lineup versus right-handers.
“There’s a lot of factors at play,” Showalter said. “There’s not a right or wrong decision. I like Pete coming off the bench, too. It gives us a weapon there and take advantage of some skills that we’re in need of when certain guys are pitching.
“These are tough lineups this time of the year. But for us it seems like it’s always been that way because we’ve had a lot of good things to pick from.”