Baseball players are creatures of habit. They love their routines and believe in them. So Sunday’s unusual 11:35 a.m. start time was a bit of a jolt to the system. The Yankees had an 8 a.m. report time to the clubhouse, they were on the field for first pitch when they would normally be finishing up batting practice.
“Yeah, I set the alarm clock a lot earlier and tried to get in bed a lot earlier,” Joey Gallo said with a laugh. “I tried to get here as early as I could, get in the cage. On my own I went on the field a little bit and ran around just trying to make it feel like a normal one o’clock, one-thirty game. I just tried to try to forget about what time it is and show up and do your daily routine. To prepare for it.”
The Yankees had their sleep consultants talk to players earlier last week about preparing for this game, which had an early start time because it was broadcast as the exclusive game on NBC’s Peacock.
Jordan Montgomery, however, was like most people who have an unusually early appointment. He had to make the early start, but couldn’t force himself to sleep earlier.
“It was fine. I tried to get to bed as early as I could last night, but of course, the sleep schedule that I’m on right now, it was impossible,” the right-hander said. “But I woke up and did everything I could to be awake and made sure the body was loose and just competed the best I could.”
Aaron Boone said he didn’t hear any grumbling from his players about the early wake-up calls.
“I felt like the energy was really good this morning ... I didn’t hear any complaining or things like that,” the Yankees manager said. “I think the fact that we played a day game [Saturday] and played it in pretty timely fashion gave guys a chance to have a night at home and a normal night’s sleep or a somewhat normal night’s sleep, but I’m sure it’s not the most ideal. Especially, because, we’ve got a handful of veteran guys, so obviously that’s an early call. But I felt like the energy was really good this morning in the clubhouse. So any reservations they had there they masked it well, and I thought we’re ready to go.”
And taking the 5-4 win on Josh Donaldson’s sacrifice fly in the 10th inning helped ease the tiredness.
“At the end of the day, as a ballplayer, I try not to make those excuses or run to that. That’s a dangerous place to go,” Donaldson said. “But at the end of the day, both teams have to go through it. And so, thankfully for us, it feels a little better when you win that game.”
LOAISIGA LOOSENING UP
Jonathan Loaisiga, who has been on the injured list since May 25 with right shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to play catch for the first time on Monday.
There is no timetable for Loaisiga’s return.
“I don’t know when he’ll get on the mound,” Boone said. “I just know first thing is just throwing and he is scheduled to do that tomorrow.”
BRITTON THIS SEASON
Zack Britton, who had Tommy John surgery in October, is expecting to be back in September. The lefty reliever threw his first bullpen this week and was encouraged by it.
“I think that’s certainly a possibility and I know it’s gone really well. And I talked to Britt yesterday after the first bullpen and he was really encouraged like he’s been through most of the rehab,” Boone said. “He’s been kind of encouraged every step of the way.”
Giancarlo Stanton was not in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game, a day after his first game back off the injured list. The slugger did strike out in a ninth-inning pinch-hit at-bat.