As the clock struck midnight Tuesday morning at Yankee Stadium, the New York Yankees had a 6-5 lead over the Texas Rangers in the ninth inning. Nearly three hours later — at 2:44 a.m. ET — when the inning and the game were completed, the Yankees had suffered a 9-6 loss.
Sandwiched between the start of the inning and the Rangers’ four-run rally was a rain delay that lasted more than 3 ½ hours — and that incensed Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
"To me, the game should’ve been stopped earlier than that," Girardi said, per MLB.com. "We played in horrible conditions, and I think you risk injuries to players. We saw a bunch of their outfielders slip. It’s hard for me to understand what happened tonight, how it got to this point."
Before the tarp was brought out to cover the infield in the ninth, Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman walked leadoff man Robinson Chirinos and was having issues with his footing while falling behind on a 3-1 count to Shin-Soo Choo. When the game resumed, Chapman was replaced by Kirby Yates and the floodgates were open.
The @Rangers 4-run 9th inning that spanned 2 days:
BB 3 hour & 35 minute delay K HBP HBP 2-run Single HBP Fly Out 2-run Single K
"I’ve never been involved where you’ve waited three-and-a-half hours in the middle of a game," Girardi said. "To start a game, yeah. You’re not loosening players up, you’re not burning pitchers. I understand that. But never in the middle of a game. Not in a circumstance like tonight.
"If it’s 10-4, you think we wait three-and-a-half hours? So what’s the difference? What’s the difference? It’s conditions, right? I think what you worry about is the conditions. And I think the eighth inning it was dangerous that both teams were out there."
Umpire crew chief Paul Nauert justified the decision, telling The Associated Press that "our job is to try to get the game in. Just to cut it short for rain is not something that we’re doing. We take that integrity part of it very seriously. You’ve got to give both teams an equal, fair opportunity," he said. "We were going to wait as long as we could."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister (left) and Yankees manager Joe Girardi.