UPDATE: The game was cancelled due to heavy rain in the second inning.
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Thursday, it was 81 degrees for the Cubs game without a cloud in the Phoenix-area sky.
Friday, there were thunderstorms -- with some rumbles of thunder lasting 15-20 seconds -- hail, wind and temperatures that dropped into the upper 40s. All the afternoon Cactus League games were cancelled, although they actually started play at some of the venues, which was silly given the heavy weather moving in.
At the time I'm writing this preview post, the sun is shining, not long before sunset in the Valley. However, more storms are firing up south and west of the metro area and it seems likely they'll be heading through the western portion of the area -- where Goodyear Ballpark, tonight's venue is located -- sometime right around game time or shortly after.
So they'll probably do the same with this game -- try to start it and see if they can squeeze in five innings. Seems like a bad idea to me, to risk injury to players and have them play in very non-baseball-like conditions. But such is Major League Baseball in the year 2013.
You probably won't be paying much attention to this game anyway, as the Blackhawks are playing this evening and there's another WBC game, USA vs. Mexico, at Chase Field at the same time as the Cubs game. 40,000 tickets have been sold for that game and they could wind up with close to a full house. Here's the info for tonight just in case they play:
Sappelt LF, Barney 2B, Hairston CF, Soriano DH, Valbuena SS, Navarro C, Soler RF, Lake 3B, Bogusevic 1B
Choo CF, Burriss SS, Bruce RF, Soto 1B, Paul LF, Rodriguez 3B, Donald 2B, Hanigan C, Hannahan DH
Both teams will send prospects to start (maybe a hint that this game isn't going to be played?) -- Nick Struck for the Cubs, Tony Cingrani for the Reds. Relievers on today's Cubs list: Zach Putnam, Casey Coleman, Rafael Dolis, Trey McNutt and Chris Rusin. Reds relievers: Jose Arredondo, Pedro Villarreal, Logan Ondrusek, Sean Marshall and J.J. Hoover.
Today's game at Mesa is a webcast on cubs.com (and via the MLB At Bat app) with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie. The webcast will be online starting approximately 7:50 p.m. CT.
There won't be any first-pitch or overflow threads for this game, because this is being posted so close to game time, and I expect this game could wind up being cancelled. So post all your comments here. We'll get back to normal threads tomorrow.
Discuss amongst yourselves.