10/06/2002 10:31 pm ET
No scoreboard watching
A sunny, hard-to-read outcome at Pacific Bell Park
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants fans didn't need a scoreboard to tell them their team was on a roll in the early innings Sunday. That much was glaringly obvious, in more ways than one.
Good thing, too. They didn't have a scoreboard to watch for a while.
As the Giants rolled up a 7-0 lead through the first three innings of their National League Division Series Game 4 matchup with the Braves, the center-field scoreboard as well as the auxiliary scoreboards along the second deck were on the fritz for more than an inning.
Of course, it didn't really matter that much because the sun was reflecting off the main scoreboard in center field at that time, making it unreadable and actually causing an annoying glare for anyone who dared look in that direction -- one of many ways the 4:59 p.m. PT start time of Game 4 played some havoc.
Thanks to the odd start time, the field was mostly in shadow in the early innings but the hitter's background and the scoreboard were drenched in bright light as the sun went down behind home plate. The dark green hitter's background had a distinctly brighter appearance, explaining why some hitters kept their sunglasses on even though the shadows extended to the outfield fence.
When the scoreboard was readable again in the top of the fourth, it revealed the Giants were in fact leading the Braves, 7-0.
Come to think of it, the Braves and lefty Tom Glavine probably couldn't have liked what they would have seen on that scoreboard as the Giants ran off with the early lead and then some.
Coincidence? Perhaps, perhaps not.
No Braves personnel have been questioned in connection with the incident.
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.