Wednesday’s Game 4 matchup in the 2019 American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros has been postponed until Thursday, October 17, according to MLB. Inclement weather was cited as the reason for the postponement, pushing Game 5 to Friday.
The first pitch was originally scheduled for tonight at 8:08 p.m. ET, but due to the National Weather Service reporting a 100 percent chance of rain on Wednesday, Game 4 will now go ahead at 8:08 p.m. ET on Thursday. The Yankees and the Astros will lose one of their travel days with Game 5 moved to Friday, with the scheduled first pitch in the matchup in New York City coming at 7:08 p.m. ET. The Astros are currently leading the series 2-1 after their 4-1 victory in Game 3.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred had previously commented on the potential postponement of Game 4, saying before Game 3, “We are mindful of two things: We don’t want to affect the competitive complexion of the series, and we want to be mindful of our fans who have to get out. We don’t want to bring them here if we know we are not going to be able to play.”
With no game tonight, Houston and New York fans will be looking to see how this could potentially affect the series’ future pitching matchups after the Astros grabbed the opportunity to punch their ticket to the World Series without having to return to Houston while the Yankees will aim to take advantage of any home-field advantage they can.
Both teams were aware of the high possibility that this game would be postponed, with Yankees manager Aaron Boone referencing their potential Game 4 pitcher in his postgame press conference. Masahiro Tanaka will likely be the choice for the Yankees, with fans hoping that the Japanese pitcher will be able to replicate his Game 1 performance that saw him allow only a single hit over six innings. While that appearance was surprisingly short considering the lack of success the Astros were finding against him, that short appearance along with an extra day of rest might be just what Tanaka needs as he enters a must-win game for the Yankees.
For the Astros, Game 4 will likely feature Zack Greinke as the starter. While Grienke was solid enough in his Game 1 appearance, he couldn’t keep up with Tanaka’s dominance as he allowed three runs over seven innings, including two home runs. While Greinke has yet to register a win this postseason and been generally disappointing, his appearance will mean that the return of the Astros’ two pitching star could be accelerated. The extra day means that Justin Verlander is likely to start Game 5, with Gerrit Cole potentially returning for Game 6 if Verlander is unable to seal the victory. Depending on how things go, Cole could also be saved for Game 7, which would also give Verlander a chance to appear in relief.
With so many potential scenarios in a back-and-forth series so far, all baseball fans need is for the weather to hold.