ARLINGTON, Texas — The Yankees might want to add an airline mechanic to their traveling party.
The Yankees, who early in their just-completed three-city trip held an unscheduled sleepover at Dulles International Airport in Virginia because of issues with their Delta charter, were again stranded overnight, this time into the early morning hours Thursday in Dallas.
They eventually took off for New York in the neighborhood of 5:30 a.m. Eastern time, landing a little over three hours later.
But it was some journey.
The team plane, again a Delta charter, actually departed from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport a couple of hours after Wednesday night’s 12-10 loss to the Rangers, but a mechanical issue forced the aircraft to return to the airport shortly after departure.
The plane landed safely without incident.
That began a comedy of errors — though those on the plane likely didn’t see it as such — that did not have the flight take off for nearly six hours. Because there was no firm timetable for when the parts would arrive, or a time frame for how long it would take to fix the mechanical issue once they did arrive, at one point players and some staff were bused to a nearby hotel.
But that group was called back in relatively short order. The needed parts arrived between 3 and 4 a.m. Eastern time. The players and staff, and their baggage, eventually were reloaded. Once they were back on board, the plane took off in a somewhat timely manner.
On May 16 the Yankees were supposed to be wheels up to Kansas City at around 10 p.m. from Dulles after their games against the Nationals were postponed by rain earlier in the day.
But a combination of issues, including a mechanical problem with the airplane, stormy weather in the Washington D.C. area and aviation regulations that limit the number of hours a crew can work in a single shift, caused the flight not to take off. With not enough hotel rooms available, Yankees players and staff spent the night either on the plane or in a lounge area near the gate.
Speaking a day after the situation at Dulles, general manager Brian Cashman called it “an unfortunate set of circumstances,” but added later his club was “fortunate” that an off-day followed.
The Yankees also were fortunate in that regard on Thursday, another off-day. The club starts a three-game series against the Angels on Friday night at the Stadium.
The Yankees are coming off losing two of three to the cellar-dwelling Rangers, which snapped a streak of eight consecutive series won.
Wednesday was particularly galling as the Yankees blew leads of 4-0 and 10-5. CC Sabathia turned in a third straight poor start and the struggles of relievers Chasen Shreve and David Robertson continued. Each allowed two earned runs, seeing their respective ERAs climb to 4.15 and 4.91.
“I’ve pitched like crap, there’s nothing else to say about it,” Robertson said. “I’ve been very poor, haven’t thrown a lot of strikes . . . I’m going through a rough patch right now. I need to clean up my act.”
The Yankees hit four home runs Wednesday, which gave them an MLB-best 79 homers for the season. Their 21 home runs in a five-game span ties a major-league record, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The Red Sox (1977) and Reds (1999) accomplished the feat as well. It also gave the Yankees three or more homers in five straight games for the first time in franchise history.
“Those guys can hit so, no, it doesn’t amaze me,” Aaron Boone said of the stretch. “We have a lot of power and guys are going up there and really grinding through at-bats. When you do that consistently with the talent they have and the power they possess, home runs are a lot of times the result.”