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Yankees anticipate going to the bullpen early in Game 4 -- to begin the game

Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green reacts to the

Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green reacts to the catch by leftfielder Cameron Maybin to end the fourth inning in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Astros on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

The Yankees, not by design, used nine pitchers in their 11-inning loss to the Astros in  ALCS Game 2 on Sunday night, the result of a shaky 2 1/3-inning start by James Paxton.

They may end up using at least that many arms in Wednesday night’s Game 4, weather permitting. Aaron Boone said Monday that the club’s intent is to probably use it as a “bullpen day.”

“Kind of depends a lot on what happens tomorrow,” said Boone, who will start Luis Severino in Game 3 at the Stadium against Astros co-ace Gerrit Cole on Tuesday afternoon. “J.A. Happ could very much be in the mix as well, [but] I picture our bullpen being unleashed on that day.”

Chad Green, who pitched two perfect innings Sunday night, is a candidate to serve as the opener, a role he excelled in throughout the season. The Yankees first will see how Game 3 plays out, though.

“That will all depend on tomorrow, how we use guys, what the game ends up in,” Boone said. “We'll kind of see where we're at going into the next day.”

Mother Nature’s possible role

The forecast for Wednesday night’s Game 4 looked bad a week ago and continues to look bad. If Game 4 is postponed, it will be played Thursday and Game 5 will be played Friday, meaning no off-day for the clubs if the series returns to Houston for Game 6.

“If weather becomes an issue where the game were to get wiped out Wednesday, that kind of impacts what you do moving forward from there,'' Boone said.

Stanton in flux

Boone said the club isn’t any closer to making a decision about Giancarlo Stanton, who suffered a right quadriceps strain in Game 1 Saturday night. Cameron Maybin started in his place in leftfield in Game 2 and figures to do so again in Game 3, barring a miraculous recovery. The question is whether the Yankees will take the step of replacing Stanton on the roster, something that must be cleared by MLB. If that were to occur, Stanton also would be ineligible for the World Series if the Yankees get that far.  

“He hit in the cage [Sunday] and it went pretty well,” Boone said. “But we kind of tried as much as we could to stay away from testing it or doing those kind of things obviously with the off day today. I'm not sure exactly what they'll run him through, but we'll kind of see and then make a decision moving forward. But I don't really have much more information at this point.”

Rest up

Neither the Yankees nor the Astros worked out Monday at the Stadium. The Astros didn’t leave for New York until early afternoon Monday and the Yankees, who departed Houston after the 11-inning loss Sunday night (which ended at 12:58 a.m. ET), landed at Newark International Airport at 6:15 a.m. Monday.

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