The cancellation of the Cubs/Reds game Wednesday night with the score 2-1 Cubs in the fourth inning gives me another chance to go on one of my weather rants.
First, look at this:
This image was taken from The Weather Channel website about half an hour after umpires finally threw in the towel on this game. As you can see, this large storm covered just about all of metro Phoenix for most of the evening, with very heavy rain.
This was forecast all day. It was clear that it would hit the area around Goodyear Ballpark around an hour after game time, which is exactly what happened.
Why even start this game? Why force the Cubs to make a 35-mile drive during rush hour from Mesa? Conditions weren’t great for baseball anyway, temperatures in the Phoenix area were in the 50s most of the day, it was windy and raw, and attempting to play baseball in those conditions risks injury. Why do it for a game that means nothing? Pitchers could have gotten their work in, in Mesa, hitters could have hit in the batting cages.
I don’t know who made the call to start this game, but if it was the Reds trying to save money by maybe squeezing five innings in and not having to refund tickets, you lose, Reds, because the game didn’t make it that far.
There are some highlight videos from the baseball they did play in Goodyear Wednesday evening, so by gum I’m going to show them to you.
Caleb Kilian pitched pretty well and also made this athletic diving catch of a bunt attempt [VIDEO].
That’s fun to cheer for, but in general I think managers and coaches tell pitchers not to do that, as it risks injury. That’s especially true in a game like this. Here are some comments from Kilian on his catch and the rest of his outing [VIDEO].
Anyway, the Reds tied things up on an RBI single by longtime Cubs nemesis Joey Votto in the bottom of the third.
The Cubs took the lead back in the top of the fourth on this RBI hit by Zach McKinstry [VIDEO].
It had already started raining by then and by the time Michael Rucker entered to throw the bottom of the fourth, it was pouring:
Rucker recorded two outs in the fourth and finally, the umpires said they’d had enough and ordered the field covered. At that point players started to leave with their equipment, so it was obvious play would not resume.
But again, seriously, this game should never have been played. Do better, Reds. And do better, MLB. If the powers that be are willing to start a game when they absolutely know it’s not going to be finished in Spring Training, what sorts of implications does that have for the regular-season games at Wrigley Field in April? As I’ve noted previously, the Cubs have FOUR teams from the West divisions coming to Wrigley in April. Undoubtedly this is going to mean playing baseball in conditions not meant for baseball.
As always, we await developments.
The Cubs/Reds affair joined seven other cancellations in the Phoenix area Wednesday due to off-and-on rain all day. The only Arizona spring game that managed to be played to completion Wednesday was a 4-3 win by the Rangers over the Royals in Surprise that apparently was played in VERY cold conditions:
I don’t get it either but that’s what it says. It was, in fact, cold in the Phoenix area Wednesday but not THAT cold.
Thursday afternoon, the Cubs will return to Sloan Park to take on the Diamondbacks and we are assured the weather will clear and there will be at least a mostly sunny day for baseball. Drew Smyly will start for the Cubs. Madison Bumgarner will get the call for Arizona. Game time is 3:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.