Fri, Oct 28, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Game 6 of World Series postponed

THREAT OF TORRENT:The extra day of rest may lead to intrigue over who would pitch for St Louis in a possible Game 7. Texas have already chosen pitcher Matt Harrison

AP, ST LOUIS, MISSOURI

Game 6 of the World Series was postponed on Wednesday because of a wet forecast, delaying the Texas Rangers’ bid to clinch their first championship.

Major League Baseball announced the decision about four-and-a-half hours before the Rangers and St Louis Cardinals were set to play. At the time, no rain had fallen at Busch Stadium, but heavy precipitation was expected.

Texas leads the Series 3-2. Game 6 was rescheduled for last night at 8:05pm. If Game 7 is necessary, it would be played tonight.

“Because of the forecast, there was no reason to wait any longer,” said Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations.

Torre said he told managers Ron Washington of Texas and Tony La Russa of St Louis on Tuesday that if the forecast didn’t change, the game would be postponed.

Rain was in “every forecast we had probably for the last three days,” Torre told a news conference. “They were all consistent — there was going to be rain during the game.”

Looking at Commissioner Bud Selig, Torre asked: “Do you want to play in rain?”

Colby Lewis had been set to start for Texas, with Jaime Garcia ready to go for the Cardinals.

If anything, the extra day may lead to more intrigue over who might pitch for St Louis should the Series go to a Game 7 for the first time since 2002. Washington already has said Matt Harrison would start if the Series goes that far.

The forecast for yesterday was much better — clear enough with a gametime temperature of about 10°C.

Rain has hovered over the majors all year with more than 50 washouts, baseball’s highest total since 1997.

This was the first Series rainout since 2008 at Philadelphia. That year, Tampa Bay and the Phillies were tied in the sixth inning when rain and snow turned the field into a quagmire, forcing a suspension. It rained the next day, too, and the game finally resumed two days later, with the Phillies winning to take the crown.

Because of the debate about how to handle that situation, MLB adopted a rule a few months later mandating that any postseason game stopped in progress would be resumed at the point of suspension, rather than being postponed and starting over.

Before that, the previous Series rainout came at Busch Stadium, when Game 4 between Detroit and the Cardinals was pushed back by a day. A few hundred fans were already milling outside Busch Stadium when the Rangers-Cardinals game was called. The tarp was on the field at the time. Later, about a dozen St Louis players came out to toss around balls in right field.

Bad weather has lingered throughout the big leagues since opening day. Even before that, actually, as the Milwaukee Brewers and Reds worked out in snow flurries a day before their March 31 opener in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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