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.”
I’m not there, but I’m relying on Accuweather.com
Accuweather also tells me there’s a darn good chance sun will give way to rain throughout the day Tuesday, and there’s about a 70 percent chance of more rain that night just as the first pitch is about to be tossed for Game 1 of the World Series between the homestanding Royals and New York Mets.
As of now – you know how weather forecasts can change within minutes – there’s a 60 percent chance of rain falling on Kauffman Stadium the next couple of hours after the game begins. Chances of rain decrease of the night turns into morning.
If Game 1 is postponed, it will be played Wednesday night – that’s weather permitting, of course. Game 2 will be Thursday and MLB will ditch the travel day off and play the third game Friday night in New York.
If there’s a lot of rain tomorrow, but there’s a chance to play, I’m rooting for one of those scenarios in which helicopters are brought in to hover of Kauffman Stadium in an attempt to dry the field.
Does that really work?