Days off during the rigorous 162-game MLB schedule are infrequent, so for the Yankees to have two in one week is about as likely as a Brian McCann stolen base.
But they’ll have just that this week.
The Yankees were off Monday, and following another two-game series with the Rockies that ends with a matinee Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees will have the day off Thursday.
“Every now and then you need a rest, so it’s good,” Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius said before Tuesday’s series opener against the Rockies, which the Yankees lost, 8-4.
The Yankees had played 20 straight days from May 24 to June 12 and 40 of 41 days dating to May 3 before getting an off day on June 13 following an Old Timers’ Day loss to the Tigers.
It’s the only time this season other than the All-Star break -- when everyone who’s not playing in the Midsummer Classic will have four days off -- that the Yankees will have at least two days off in the same week.
“All you want to do is play baseball, but once in a while you need it, but if they put it that way, we just got to go with it,” Gregorius said. “For me, it’s a good time. Spend time with the family and everything, so it works.”
The Rockies were in a similar position last week, with days off bookending their two-game set at home against the Yankees. They followed that by losing three out of four to the Marlins on the road before beating the Yanks on Tuesday.
“In a perfect world it would be evenly spaced, so that you wouldn’t have too much rest and then too little rest, but I understand you’ve got to plan 162 games for 30 teams. Things like that are going to happen,” said Colorado Rockies centerfielder Charlie Blackmon, who hit two home runs, including a leadoff shot off the rightfield foul pole Tuesday.
Blackmon said it sometimes can be helpful to have the schedule fall that way.
“We did just come off a really long stretch, 27 games,” he said. “One of our off days got rained out, we had to play through it, that kind of thing. So to have two back-to-back was really welcome.”
The Yankees’ second off day Thursday comes at a good time after they used four pitchers out of the bullpen Tuesday night. Starter Ivan Nova lasted just four innings and allowed six runs on eight hits and two walks.
Manager Joe Girardi, known for his penchant for getting his players rest, seemed content with the scheduling quirk.
“I think it’s important just because we used four guys tonight,” Girardi said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I expect a good start out of CC (Sabathia). He’s been really consistent for us, but those days off allow the bullpen to kind of catch their breath a little bit.”