Toronto Blue Jays
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.]
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.”
— Mace Michaels (@macemichaels) July 18, 2017
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.
To help me get through, I thought it would be a great idea to develop for The Rainout Blog a list of the Top 10 MLB weather events for the 2015 season. Sounds great, right?
In the early stages of my research, I came across MLB.com video of the Baltimore Orioles’ grounds crew working to prep the infield though rain at Camden Yards.
The early afternoon game between the Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays was delayed for three hours and 25 minutes – Wow! – and resumed a little after 4 p.m. Because of the long delay, starting pitchers for both teams were removed. You know, that’s always a story line in long weather delays.
The Orioles went on to win 6-4 over the Jays, who had clinched the American League East title the night before.
It’s three and a half months until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. While we wait, let’s take a look back at the Orioles grounds crew in action.
Let’s look on the bright side: Yeah, we lost three baseball games to rain Tuesday night, but all three of those games will be made up today, giving us three doubleheaders.
Only a few days remain in the MLB regular season – that’s a bummer – and all three double dips today involve teams that are somehow in the thick of the playoff races. So today we have St. Louis at Pittsburgh, Minnesota at Cleveland and Toronto at Baltimore.
Oh, and you’re welcome for sparing you the “It’s Raining in Baltimore” headline on Tuesday night. That one’s been used a lot on The Rainout Blog because… well, it’s one of my favorite Counting Crows songs.