August 25th, 2007

On the clock

For those of you still wondering about the decision to play last night, well, it’s not totally the umpires’ fault, either. Supposedly all the umpiring crews received a memo from MLB on Friday that with the pennant races developing, they should try to get every game in that they possibly can. Thus, when crew chief Rick Reed saw the line of storms would eventually pass, he decided to wait it out. But it begs the question for MLB: Do you want your playoff races decided at 3:30 in the morning?

While MLB and Elias Sports Bureau don’t keep track of rain delays and the time that a game ends, there are people who do. Phil Lowry of the Society of American Baseball Research emailed this morning putting the game in a historical context:

  • It’s just the sixth rain delay of four hours or more in MLB history. The record is 7 hours, 23 minutes between the Rangers and White Sox on July 23, 1990. It was supposed to be an afternoon start before it was finally called off at 8:58 p.m.
  • The longest to actually be played that day was a 5-hour, 45-minute delay between the Reds and Brewers on Oct. 3, 1999. Again, it was supposed to be a day game, but it didn’t start until just before 9 p.m. That game had to be played because it was the last weekend of the season and the Reds were in playoff contention. The win put the Reds into a one-game playoff with the Mets.
  • Of the eight games in MLB history to end after 3 a.m., the 3:30 a.m. end to Friday’s game ranked third on the all-time list, trailing the 4:40 a.m. end time to a rain-delayed Padres-Phillies game on July 2, 1993 and a 3:55 a.m. end to a Mets-Braves contest that lasted 19 innings on July 4, 1985. Ironically, that was also a fireworks night, and they actually went ahead with the fireworks. Friday’s game sets an American League record.

Not surprisingly, a few players have the night off. Here’s the lineup:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Thames, LF
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Guillen, 1B
  6. Rabelo, C
  7. Casey, DH
  8. Inge, 3B
  9. Santiago, SS

Pudge is sitting because he caught 11 innings last night, not because of any hand injury. He said his hand is feeling OK.

Also, this just in: The official scorer changed the call from last night. Instead of Placido Polanco’s first error in more than a year, the error goes to Marcus Thames, and Polanco’s errorless streak is alive.