PITTSBURGH -- Talk about a lost night in Pittsburgh.
The New York Yankees lost a big inning, one of their top starters after only two innings in a washed-out game and a lot of sleep before their makeup, two-stadium doubleheader against the Mets on Friday. They also lost a day off next month.
Heavy rain and lightning caused their game against the Pirates to be washed out Thursday night with the Yankees up 3-1 in the third inning. The rainout means the Yankees will return to Pittsburgh for a July 10 makeup game.
"You can't stay here until 2, 3 in the morning and have a split doubleheader tomorrow (Friday)," manager Joe Girardi said.
The Yankees, needless to say, weren't happy with their predicament, or the 2½-hour wait before the game was called.
"I'm displeased simply because we didn't play at 1 o'clock today -- it was a beautiful day, and we could have played all day long," said pitcher Mike Mussina, a 10-game winner who wasted a scheduled start. "Now we'll get home at whatever time we get home and we've got a 2 o'clock game tomorrow. It's frustrating, we lose another off day and we play another game."
The Pirates didn't know the Yankees would be playing a makeup doubleheader when they scheduled Thursday's game for a nighttime start.
"We don't get many day games on getaway games, that's just the way it is," Girardi said.
The Yankees led 3-1 in the top of the third when several nearby bolts of lightning and strong winds led the umpires to halt the game even before it began raining.
The rain stopped briefly about an hour into the delay only to resume, and the game was called after a delay of 2 hours, 31 minutes -- after a series of nearby lightning strikes caused some fans to scurry from their upper-deck seats.
Until this series, the two teams had not met in Pittsburgh since the 1960 World Series, but they now will travel there two different times in the same season. The teams split the two games this week, with the Pirates winning 12-5 on Tuesday and the Yankees 10-0 on Wednesday before standing room crowds.
"There was a buzz in the ballpark ... it was exciting," Pirates manager John Russell said. "It was a great atmosphere. The fans were into it every pitch, as opposed to inning by inning. The fans were really into it, and it was uplifting for the players."
New York received extra-base hits from the first four batters to take a 3-0 lead in the first, but the statistics will not count. Johnny Damon, starting for the first time since Sunday because of a sore left arch, and Derek Jeter doubled ahead of Bobby Abreu's triple high off the center-field wall and Alex Rodriguez's double off Paul Maholm.
The Pirates came back in the bottom of the first with Freddy Sanchez's double and Ryan Doumit's run-scoring single off Mussina.
The rainout means the Pirates squandered Maholm's start at a time when they are down two starters to injury, with Ian Snell and Phil Dumatrait on the disabled list. Jimmy Barthmaier and John Van Benschoten will be called up from Triple-A Indianapolis to start the first two games of their three-game weekend series against Tampa Bay that begins Friday night.
If the game had resumed, Dan Giese -- the scheduled Game 1 starter Friday in New York -- would have replaced Mussina.
Giese went to the airport to fly home early, then missed a flight that was supposed to be delayed but, after he left the gate, ended up leaving. His next flight was canceled, so he returned to the ballpark.
"It was pretty chaotic," Giese said. "This is minor league life, right here."