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Yankees, Phillies 7-inning doubleheader levels the playing field

When MLB postponed Tuesday night’s game versus the Phillies, it was an immediate blow to the Yankees. Instead the two teams will play a double header on Wednesday in Philadelphia, with the Yankees serving as the home team in game one.

7-inning double dip

One of the biggest competitive advantages the Yankees have over other teams is their elite bullpen. No matter who they are going up against, the Yankees almost always have the superior bullpen on any given day.

The Phillies have one of the worst bullpens in the entire sport. Their pen is a filled with a bunch of no name players that simply can’t get anyone out. Over a nine inning game, it is fairly easy for the Yankees to assert their dominance over an inferior team like this. They get the starter out after five innings and hammer the bullpen to pull away. You saw a textbook example of this on Monday night.

Over a 7 inning game however, bullpens become much less important. All of the sudden a starter can throw a 7 inning complete game and mitigate the bullpen aspect of the game entirely. On Wednesday, it is plausible that Aaron Nola and Zach Wheeler can throw complete games.  The Yankees might not have any opportunity at all to feast on that awful pen.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Yankees also lose a home game from this. Both games will be at Citizens Bank Park, and although the Yankees get to bat in the bottom of the inning as the “home” team, it doesn’t really mean much. They’re not playing in their home park. It’s a road game. Score another advantage for Philly. Also, double headers often result in splits which negates some of the talent gap — another advantage.

Personally, I hate the idea of a 7 inning double headers. Would the NFL or NBA hold a game with three quarters? Never. Sure, COVID has made things crazy, but we have to set limits. What’s next, five inning triple headers?

Oh yeah, it didn’t even rain Tuesday night in New York City.

The Yankees have announced JA Happ will start game one but they haven’t said who is pitching game 2 (it might end up being an opener depending on how the first game goes). Let’s hope the Yanks can continue their great play in double dips.

And one last thing: The Yankees were already scheduled for a doubleheader in Tampa on Saturday. Two doubleheaders in five days is not ideal, even if they are shortened games.