Instead of doing activities such as batting practice to get ready for a game on Monday, the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies found themselves in a holding pattern due to coronavirus concerns.
Long before the scheduled first pitch, the first game of a two-game series in Philadelphia was postponed due to numerous positive tests for the Miami Marlins. Over the weekend, the Marlins won two of three against the host Phillies.
As of Monday night, the Yankees and Phillies were slated to get together on Tuesday in Philadelphia before the same two clubs are due to open a two-game series at Yankees Stadium on Wednesday.
On Monday, the Yankees were locked down in their Philadelphia hotel and underwent the saliva test for COVID-19, and were awaiting the outcome of the same tests for the Phillies. There were whispers about possibly moving the game to Yankee Stadium, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia, but no venue switch was made.
It is even possible the teams could play a doubleheader Tuesday, but the more likely scenario is a single game Tuesday followed by a doubleheader in the Bronx on Wednesday or Thursday.
The Yankees were slated to start J.A. Happ on Monday followed by Gerrit Cole on Tuesday. Happ was listed as Tuesday's probable pitcher as of late Monday night, meaning Cole would get the home opener Wednesday.
Jake Arrieta, the Phillies' scheduled Monday starter, was penciled in for Tuesday, with Zach Eflin due to pitch Wednesday.
Happ was 12-8 with a 4.91 ERA in his first full season with the Yankees last year, though he finished off strong, posting a 1.65 ERA in his final five outings.
Happ, who made his major league debut with Philadelphia in 2007, is 5-0 with a 1.45 ERA in five career starts against his original team.
The Yankees are coming off a weekend series win at Washington, where they took two of three. New York rebounded from a 9-2 loss on Saturday, rallying late for a 3-2 win Sunday.
Gleyber Torres homered in the third inning and hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth. Luke Voit hit a game-tying homer in the seventh after the Yankees were held to two hits by Nationals starter Patrick Corbin over the first 6 1/3 innings.
"We were waiting for Gleyber to break out," Voit said of Torres, who was 0-for-6 before his 3-for-4 game Sunday. "Today he finally broke out in a clutch way."
The Phillies are coming off an 11-6 loss to the Marlins on Sunday in which they blew an early four-run lead. Bryce Harper, who homered in the first inning, wore a mask when he reached base after Phillies manager Joe Girardi alerted his players to a potential outbreak with the Marlins.
"You have to be safe," said Girardi, a former Yankees manager. "You can't really be in contact with a lot of people because you put everybody in danger."
While Harper hit his first homer Sunday, former Yankee Didi Gregorius is 4-for-11 in his first three games with Philadelphia. Gregorius spent the previous five seasons with the Yankees, who did not retain him when they pursued and ultimately signed Cole.
Arrieta, entering his third season with the Phillies, hopes to continue showing he is recovered after missing most of the second half of last season with an elbow injury. He was 8-8 with a 4.64 ERA before his season ended in mid-August.
Arrieta is 3-2 with a 3.98 ERA in nine career appearances (eight starts) against the Yankees.