Chicago Cubs

This Week in Baseball Weather

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Cleveland.com

In a week of rain events and long delays in Atlanta, Chicago and Minneapolis, the most dramatic and spectacular developed in Cleveland Saturday night as thunder crashed the summer night and rain drops drummed steadily on Progressive Field.

Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning with his team tied 1-1 with the visiting Toronto Blue Jays. As rain fell around him, Lindor sent a pitch soaring high and deep into the night, spinning through rain drops toward the Cleveland skyline. Four-hundred and thirty-eight feet later, the ball splashed into the right field bleachers where hundreds of Tribe fans, a few clad in rain gear, celebrated their team’s much-needed walk off win.

The scene was set in the top half of inning as thunder roared through downtown and around the ballpark, but the rain held off until two pitches into Lindor’s at bat.

“Believe it or not, my first reaction when it started raining was like ‘Oh, the ball is going to go nowhere now,’” Lindor said after the game. “Then I stepped out and thought if I hit it hard on the ground, it will go through. And it went up and it carried.'”

The game-winner was Lindor’s first-ever walk-off homer in the rain… OK, it was first ever walk-off home run, period.

The Reds and Marlins began their three-game series Friday night with an hour and 47-minute delayed start at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park. After things got going, Christian Yelich drove in two runs to help the Marlins to 3-1 win. It was the Reds’ fourth rain delay of the season.

Rain struck hard and fast in Chicago Wednesday night, leading to the game between the White Sox and Dodgers to be called after seven innings. It was as good as over anyway as the Dodgers held an eight-run lead at the time of the delay.

Umpires sent the players off the field and called for the tarp at 10:09 p.m. Chicago time with the Dodgers batting in the top of the eighth. Thirty-seven minutes later, the game was called at 10:46 p.m. with the ballpark mostly empty of spectators.

Los Angeles won 9-1 and went on to sweep the brief two-game series.

[Photo of White Sox head groundskeepers Roger Bossard covering the field in the eighth inning as rain began to fall.]

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Atlanta Braves Twitter

If there was moaning coming from SunTrust Park early Monday evening, it wasn’t the usual incessant sound coming Braves fans performing that annoying Tomahawk Chop. The sound more likely was grumbling from Atlanta fans having to wait out an hour-long rain delay before watching their team lose to the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubbies, who are climbing back into the National League Central race, slapped the Braves 4-3.

Also on Monday, the Twins finished off the Yankees 4-2 just before a heavy rain zeroed in on Target Field. Twins’ closer Brandon Kintzler pitched a perfect ninth inning as rain began soaking the ballpark.

First-pitch temperature hit 88 degrees and may have caused some difficulty for Minnesota starter Aldaberto Mejia as he battled six innings effectively through the humid night.

“I was throwing hard overall,” the Dominican pitcher said. “I think the temperature got to me a little bit. Other than that, it was a good outing.”

 

Twins’ meteorologist Mace Michaels posted the above photo showing a soaked Target Field moments after the game. Michaels, by the way, is a great Twitter follow for all your Twins weather news and updates.

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No speech, no win

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch

As a baseball weather blogger, it’s tempting, and somewhat predictable, to lead off with this and that about the White Sox-Tigers Opening Day game and festivities getting rained out and rescheduled.

However, the indelible images of rain dousing Cubs and Cardinals players – and fans at the ballpark – the night before are hard to ignore.

Just before Cardinals’ closer Seung Hwan Oh let a 3-0 advantage slip away in the top of the ninth, the clouds above unleashed a steady rain down on Busch Stadium. The game played on, however, and the home team grabbed the victory, 4-3, when Randall Grichuk singled to left in the bottom of the ninth, scoring Jose Martinez.

Cards fans went home – or someplace – wet and happy.

“Speechless,” Grichuk, not being speechless at all, said after the game. “Obviously, doing it against our Central rival, the Cubs, who won it last year, that adds to it. It’s just a night I won’t forget.”

Before opening night, the last game the Cubs had played was Game 7 of the World Series, which featured a rain delay, a speech and a memorable comeback that gave the Chicago side its first World Series title since – ah, you know all that 108 years stuff.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was asked if he considered prompting Jayson Heyward, or anyone wearing Cubbie blue, to rouse the team with another speech, even if it was just game one of 162.

“Believe me, I thought about it,” Maddon said. “That’s our method, is to have a little bit of rain. We just didn’t have a team meeting.”

As for Chicago’s American League team – you know, the one whose Opening Day was spoiled by rain – they made up the game Tuesday, an originally scheduled off day, against Detroit. The Tigers bested the Wet White Sox, 6-3.

Monday’s game was called after an hour and 41-minutes after the 3:10 p.m. first pitch time.

And… this just in: Today’s games between the Cubs and Cardinals in St. Louis and Tigers and White Sox in Chicago have been called because of rain.The Cardinals and Cubs series finale has been re-scheduled for 12:45 p.m. local Thursday.

The Cardinals and Cubs series finale has been rescheduled for 12:45 p.m. local Thursday.

Heavy rain, wind and forecasted 40-degree temperatures forced the postponed of the White Sox-Tigers game. They’ll make it up as part of a doubleheader May 26.

Heavy rain, wind and forecasted 40-degree temperatures forced the postponed of the White Sox-Tigers game. They’ll make it up as part of a doubleheader May 26.

The two teams are scheduled to play Game 2 of the series in Chicago Thursday, but at this rate, it’s not guaranteed. (I’m resisting the urge to point out the play on words in that last sentence. You’re smart; you’ll get it.)

Just like we drew it up

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I made a silly prediction earlier today that Game 7 of the World Series would go 13 innings and have a brief rain delay in the 11th. I missed it by one inning. The delay came just as the 10th was about to begin.

Update: The tarp has been rolled off the field and we’re back to baseball.

What a game!!!

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.”

Playing it cool

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I’d love to see the route efficiency number on Stephen Drew’s circuitous pursuit of a Cesar Hernandez infield popup at Nationals Park on Thursday.

Drew, playing short for the Nats, positioned himself underneath the high flying ball, for a second, and then had to sprint to his right and in a bit to chase down the falling spheroid.

“There’s a lot of things going on right there, twilight, wind,” Nationals’ TV commentator F.P. Santangelo said.

From the looks of the play, it was mostly wind. You could see it rustling past Jonathan Papelbon’s sleeves as the cameras flashed back to the Nats’ closer. You could see it a few moments early when a strong breeze appeared to push a Cameron Rupp drive to right over the head of Bryce Harper.

(Can we also blame the wind for the Nationals scoring zero runs, getting only six base hits in two games and making the Phillies’ pitching staff look like the ’96 Atlanta Braves’ hurlers?)

It was a bit nasty in the district Thursday… both the baseball and the weather.

The temperature dipped to the low 50s, and the game’s first pitch was delayed 36 minutes by rain.

According to data from Weather Underground, wind speed was hitting around 15 mph at the time of Drew’s infield adventure. You can be a weather-no-nothing like me and still know that’s not a lot, but it was enough play havoc on balls hit toward the coulds in the top of the ninth inning.

Up the road a bit in Baltimore, where the hot-hitting Orioles cooled the first-place Chicago White Sox, temperatures fell to 48 degrees on an overcast night and Rich Dubroff of CSN Mid-Atlantic wondered if it would ever be warm again for baseball.

The game time temperature equaled April 6 for the Orioles’ “second coldest temperature at first pitch,” Dubroff wrote.

The Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck wrote today that perhaps the cold weather in Baltimore is helping the AL East-leading O’s stay hot.

“I have an outlandish theory that the Orioles have shown more plate discipline at Camden Yards because it has been so cold most of the time they haven’t been in a hurry to swing the bat,” Schmuck wrote.

Of the six games played outdoors Thursday, five had temperatures of 55 or below. It was 45 in Detroit and at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, 55 at first pitch in Washington and 50 in Boston.

The Rockies and Pirates had the finale of their three-game series postponed by rain and snow and 38-degree temperatures at Coors Field Thursday. That seemed to be OK for Walt Weiss, skipper of the struggling Rockies.

“I’m not going to kick and scream if we don’t play,” he said before the game was called.

The cool trend continues Friday. It’ll be 47 for the Cubs’ game in Wrigley, 48 in Boston, 50 in Philadelphia, 53 at Citi Field in New York, 54 in Baltimore, 56 in Minneapolis, 58 in Pittsburgh and 68 with a chance of rain in St. Louis.

Wait for it…

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MLB Network

We all wanted to see if Jake could do it again.

Five days after throwing a no-hitter, the second of his career, Chicago Cubs’ pitcher Jake Arrieta was scheduled take the mound Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The weather, however, refused to cooperate.

Rain peppered Wrigley Field and was forecasted to continue through evening. Fearing long delays throughout the night, umpires postponed the contest.

“The umpires are very aware of starting pitchers and what they mean in today’s game,” Cubs’ Manager Joe Maddon said. “They don’t want either side to lose their starting pitcher through a long rain delay.”

No makeup date has been announced.

Arrieta’s bid for a second consecutive no-hitter – do we really think he can spin two no-nos in a row? – will come Thursday in a 1:20 p.m. (Central) matinee contest at Wrigley.

Maybe.

The weather isn’t looking great for that game either. As of early Wednesday morning, the forecast for Wrigley is calling for a 40 to 50 percent chance of rain throughout the day.

There are eight games in the Majors today, and there’s a chance of precipitation for five of those contest.

Here’s a look:

A’s at Tigers – 1:10 p.m. (Eastern) – 38 percent chance of rain

Brewers at Cubs – 1:20 (Central) – 49 percent chance of rain

Pirates at Rockies – 1:10 (Mountain) – 39 percent chance of rain

Phillies at Nationals – 4:05 (Eastern) – 47 percent chance of rain

White Sox at Orioles – 7:05 (Eastern) – 48 percent chance of rain

Elsewhere, prize Twins pitching prospect Jose Berrios had his Major League debut delayed and subsequently spoiled Wednesday night. Rain pushed back the start of the game by 35 minutes. It was a breezy 44 degrees when Berrios took the Target Field mound. In four innings of work, he allowed five runs on six hits and struck of five. Cleveland won 6-5.

Cool nights, hot Cubs

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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.