#MLB

Fall Classic Savings Time

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Good news for those of us who have become somewhat sleep deprived during the Major League Baseball playoffs: Tonight’s World Series Game Two start time has been moved up one hour to 7:08 p.m.

Now the bad news: The change was made because of a threat of rain tonight in Cleveland. According to forecasts, rain is expected in the city this afternoon before tapering off.

The chance of precipitation is around 35 percent at 8 p.m. and increases to 50-55 percent in the next couple of hours. At 11 p.m., the chance of precipitation jumps to about 80 percent and 90 at midnight.

Look out if the game goes into extra innings.

The last time a World Series game was suspended for weather was Game 5 in 2008 when rain drenched Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies and Rays were tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth when the Monday night game was called. It was resumed two days later.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was skipper of the Rays, who lost to the Phillies in five games.

Cold temperatures could also be a factor in tonight’s contest at Progressive Field. Game-time temps are expected to be in the high 40s with a wind chill of around 42 degrees. In the opener, in which Cleveland won 6-0, temperatures hung around 50 degrees.

Everyone has to deal with the cold, but a lot of eyes will be on Cubs’ starter Jake Arrieta. You may remember Arrieta’s velocity dipped a bit last October as he struggled in Game 2 of the 2015 NLCS on a 45-degree night in a 4-1 loss to the Mets. Many believe the cold played a role in right hander’s struggles.

The Indians last played in the World Series in 1997 against the Marlins. The games in Florida were nice weather-wise, but Game 4 in Cleveland had a game-time temperature of 41, which dropped to the mid-30s throughout the contest.

But tonight, our biggest concern is rain… and for me, getting to bed at a decent time. So, the hour-earlier start time is just dandy. Tribe manager Terry Francona does mind either.

“Shoot, it just means we start an hour earlier. We can handle that,” Francona said. “I don’t care what time they tell us to play. I’m sure they have good reason. If it’s supposed to rain late, I don’t really have a reaction. I’m going to be here anyway by 10 (a.m.) So it doesn’t really matter.”

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Rangers storm from behind, soak Sox

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Heaving rain, strong winds and fierce lightning stormed through Arlington, Texas, Tuesday night, delaying the game between the Rangers and Chicago White Sox for an hour and 18 minutes.

The Rangers led the first-place White Sox 2-1 when the storm interrupted the game as the third inning was set to begin. In the below video from the Dallas Morning News, you can the grounds crew scurrying to stretch the tarp over the field as rain and wind blew throughout Globe Life Park and fans sought shelter.


As for the game, the White Sox put nine runs on the board over the third and fourth innings to take a 10-5 lead. With that score, you couldn’t blame the Rangers if they did a little rain dance in hopes of nixing the game altogether.

But the home team rallied with seven runs in the eighth inning, winning 13-11.

With the rain delay and tons of scoring, the game ended four hours and 40 minutes after the first pitch was tossed.

The two teams play a 1:05 p.m. local time matinee Wednesday with only a 15 percent chance of rain and game-time temperatures hovering around 84 degrees. Nice!

Elsewhere… heavy rain got the best of the Reds and Pirates Tuesday night. A make-up game has not been announced, and the Reds said there will not be a doubleheader on Wednesday or Thursday.

Cool nights, hot Cubs

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Cubsfan4-26-2016
Chicago Tribune

At 15-5, the Chicago Cubs are off to a hot start this season. Not even cold weather has been able to slow them down.

Tuesday night, the Cubbies hosted the Milwaukee Brewers for the first of three games at Wrigley Field, and the temperature at game time dipped to 40 degrees. And with a 16 mph wind shooting out of left center field, it felt like 34 degrees to those sitting in the friendly confines.

The NL Central-leading Cubs managed only two hits in the first 5 1/3 innings against Brewers’ righty Jimmy Nelson, who tossed 109 pitches in the contest.

In the sixth, however, the Cubs’ bats warmed up. Addison Russell slugged a two-out, two-run triple to break a 1-1 tie. An inning later, Anthony Rizzo doubled in a run to give the Cubs a 4-1 lead. Chicago gave up two runs to the Brewers in the eighth, but managed to hang on for a 4-3 victory.

The win improved the Cubs to 4-0 this season in games that had a first-pitch temperature at 48 degrees or below. Chicago has outscored their opponents 26-9 in those four games, all of which were played at Wrigley. Three of the four games, as noted below, were tangles with the Cincinnati Reds.

Date, Opponent, Temperature, Result
April 26, Brewers, 40 degrees, Cubs 4-3
April 14, Reds, 45 degrees, Cubs 8-1
April 13, Reds, 48 degrees, Cubs 9-2
April 11, Reds, 48 degrees, Cubs 5-3

The Brewers, who play their home games in cozy Miller Park where’s there’s a retractable roof, managed only four hits Tuesday night.

“It was a tough day to hit, wind blowing and really cold,” said Cubs’ starter Kyle Hendricks, who gave up only a run on two hits in five innings, but did not factor into the decision.

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The two teams meet again Wednesday night for game two of the three-game series. Temperatures will be warmer, but a moderate wind will be blowing in from center field. In case you’re wondering, the Cubs are 4-2 with the wind blowing in a Wrigley this season.

Also, there’s a good chance rain could be persistent throughout the night, possibly causing delays.

By the way, Jake Arrieta is scheduled to pitch tonight for the Cubs. Perhaps the Brewers will be praying for rain.

Eye on the storms

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Strong thunderstorms, some of which may be severe according to weather forecasts, are expected to sweep through Arlington, Texas this evening just as the hometown Rangers will be hosting the New York Yankees at Globe Life Park.

The first pitch from Rangers’ right-hander A.J. Griffin is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. local time.

However, for Arlington tonight the National Weather Service is warning: “Damaging winds and very large hail will be the main threats with the storms this afternoon and tonight. Isolated tornadoes will also be possible with the storms that develop first.”

With downpours, large hail and possible tornadoes, the Rangers are monitoring the weather and could postpone the game if they deem it unsafe for folks to be in the ballpark, according to a story on a local TV station’s website.

“We carefully monitor the weather in any situation that could potentially be dangerous and affect both the game and the safety of our fans,” Rangers Executive Vice President of Communications John Blake said in a story posted on NBCDFW.com. “That will go on throughout the day.” And we consult with several weather experts to see what we can expect and the timing of any events.”

Spring storms, as we all know, can be terribly unpredictable.

Let’s say the game goes on as scheduled, it’s in the bottom of the second and the Rangers have runners on the corners with no outs and Adrian Beltre at the plate, and radar shows strong storms – you know, lightning, hail, all the works – are barreling down on the ballpark where 31,000 people are hootin’ and hollerin’ for the Rangers.

“If serious weather is approaching during the game or with fans in the stands, we will take the necessary precautions, first with warnings over the public address system and through the Rangers ushers and staff in the park,” Blake said. “Then, if it is necessary, we will clear the upper deck and potentially the seating bowl depending on the severity.”

There’s about a 55 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms about an hour before the game, and about a 50 percent chance in what would be the early innings.

If the game is postponed, it possibly could be rescheduled as a day game on Wednesday ahead of the regularly scheduled 7:05 p.m. game that night. That seems to make the most sense given this is the Yankees only trip to the Rangers’ home park this season. The Yankees already have a rescheduling conundrum resulting from that April 10 Sunday night rainout in Detroit.

Both teams have Thursday off, but it’s a travel day to Boston for the Yankees. The Rangers stay home Friday to host the Angels that night.

New York won the first game of the series Monday night 3-1 as Yankees’ hurler Nathan Eovaldi flirted with a no-hitter.

Elsewhere around the Majors, rain and thunderstorms may be what’s needed to cool off the red hot Mets. There’s a chance of thunderstorms before the game and a 30 percent chance of rain halfway through the contest. A moderate wind may be blowing in from right field. Overall, it looks pretty good for the Mets to play and keep rolling.

In Washington, wind will be pushing out around 11 mph toward right field. That could mean another blast or two (let’s hope for three) from Bryce Harper before potential thunderstorms move in late in the game.

Rain delayed Monday night’s Pirates vs. Rockies game in Denver for about 30 minutes. Precipitation is expected before Tuesday night’s game, but that should give way to a cool overcast night at Coors Field with the wind blowing in from left field.

There’s little chance of rain in Chicago, but it will be a cool night at Wrigley Field for the Cubbies/Brewers game. Temperatures will be around 45 degrees for the game and feel like the high 30s with wind coming in from left-center field.

No brooms, just squeegees

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Chicago Tribune

That was close.

After jumping out to quasi-comfortable 4-0 lead on the Chicago Cubs Wednesday afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals endured a 3:21-minute rain delay and an eighth-inning rally from their division rivals before moving on to a 5-3 victory at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals improved to 8-7 on the young season and avoided an embarrassing sweep by the Cubbies, who are determined to wrangle away St. Louis’ perennial division dominance.

The Redbirds scored two runs in each of the first two innings and allowed the Cubs to tally one in the fourth before rain began falling in the top of the seventh with the Cards leading 4-1. Precipitation increased throughout the half inning and after the Cubs’ Matt Szczur popped out in foul territory, umpires called for the tarp.

The rain stuck around for a while, but that gave us a chance to listen Cardinals radio broadcasters Mike Shannon and John Rooney spin a few tales about Bruce Hornsby and a range of other musicians. I particularly liked Shannon’s story about guarding Hornsby’s piano.

I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed the Rain Delay Theater gab session.

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The announced Busch Stadium crowd was 43,093, and I’m sure many of the Cardinal faithful stuck around through the storm. Many of us though, stayed dry, cozy and connected through Twitter and MLB TV, including this guy supporting the Cubs.

The rain and delay dragged on and on and on…

And then, about 20 minutes before 6 p.m. St. Louis time…

The game resumed and the Cubs roared back and cut the Cardinals’ advantage to a run, 4-3, in the top of the eighth. The Cards got one back in the bottom half on a Jadier Molina RBI single. Closer Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the top of the ninth, emphatically slamming the door on the Cubs’ comeback as a light rain continued to trickle.

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Chicago Tribune

It took 2 hours and 40 minutes of actual game time for the Cardinals to earn the win; that’s 41 minutes less than the rain delay.

Bottom of the sixth (Not the Rockwell painting)

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Moments after the Twins’ Oswaldo Arcia struck out swinging in the bottom of the sixth inning Tuesday night, umpires motioned for the tarp as a hard rain peppered Minnesota’s Target Field.

As it turned out, that was the last baseball act of the night between the Twins and the visiting Milwaukee Brewers. After a lengthy 2:06-minute rain delay – the game lasted just 2:21 – umpires consulted with managers of both squads and called the contest, giving the Twins a 7-4 victory, their fourth in a row.

Rain had poured well before the tarp was placed on the field, and had it stopped, more time would have been needed to allow the field to dry. That’s time neither team had, particularly with game two of the series scheduled for 12:10 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

“The umpires were in a tough spot tonight,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said after the game. “It wasn’t going to stop raining, the severity of it. They did a good job and they held off as long as they could. It just gets to a point where it’s not going to stop and you’ve got to decide where you’re going to put the players out there, and they just decided not to do it.”
The forecast for Monday night’s game predicted a good chance of rain, and a pre-game tweet from the Brewers showed menacing clouds hanging over the teams’ batting practice.

What was left of the announced crowd of 21,078 weren’t left to sit bored and soaked in their seats. The Target Field staff put on the scoreboard the Stanley Cup playoff game between the Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars. The Wild won 5-3 to take a 2-1 series lead.

The forecast for Tuesday’s game calls for a 46 percent chance of rain at first pitch and through 2 p.m. The rain chance dips to about 37 percent at 2 p.m.

Elsewhere… Looking at the forecast for the Cubs and Cardinals tonight in St. Louis shows a 54 percent chance of rain at the time Jaime Garcia is scheduled to throw out the first pitch for the home team. I’m not into making weather predictions on games… ah, what the heck? Who’s going to call me on it if I’m wrong? I’m saying the start of the game will be delayed by at least 25 minutes.

A man walks into a bar

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Actually, the man – yep, it was me – walked in an Olive Garden Saturday evening with his family. But just through the glass double doors was a bar, and just above the bar was a behemoth 70-inch TV. And showing on that behemoth was the Baltimore Orioles pre-game show.

So, of course my mind began racing to figure out how I could convince my beautiful wife that she, my two kids and I, should sit at the bar to eat dinner and watch the Orioles.

Seats for four at the bar. Sounds great, right?

Yep.

“Pass the breadsticks!”

“Did you see Manny grab that liner down the third base line?”

Ahhhhh. Is this heaven?

No. It’s Olive Garden…

OK, you’re right. I’ve been with my wife for 26 years now, so it didn’t take me long to realize any persuasive attempts to sit at the bar would be futile and would only end up with her giving me the stink eye. She’s so good at the stink eye.

So, I sucked it up, waited for the black round buzzer with the dancing red lights to fire off and we took a table far, far away from the TV.

I didn’t think too much more about the game for a few minutes until I realized something had been strange about the pregame show. There were no fans in the seats at Camden Yards.

Now, you don’t need to be any sort of sleuth to know something’s up. Could this be a rain out?!?!?!

Wiggling my fingers with excitement like Homer Simpson reaching for a sprinkled doughnut, I reached for my phone to check Twitter. Nothing. I checked my At Bat app. Nothing. And then back to Twitter. Ahhhhhh, there it is: Game called because of inclement weather.

“I’ll have the eggplant parmigiana. And water with no lemon, please!”

 

They’re never, ever, ever getting back together

Well, never say never, but the Yankees and Tigers are finding it difficult to reschedule their April 10 nationally-televised Sunday night game that was postponed by a nasty wintry mix in Detroit.

The difficulty stems from the fact the Yankees are scheduled make no more trips to Detroit this season. According to the Detroit Free Press, the teams have only six mutual off days: April 18, May 2, June 2, July 28, Sept. 1 and Sept. 19.