10/15/2004 11:38 PM ET
Rain postpones ALCS Game 3
Red Sox-Yankees to resume series Saturday at Fenway
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
|The Fenway Park infield is covered by a tarp as rain falls on Friday in Boston. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
BOSTON -- The rain, rain wouldn't go away. So the Yankees and Red Sox will come again another day.
Friday night's Game 3 of the American League Championship Series was postponed 2 1/2 hours after rains began pelting Fenway Park. A storm of increasing intensity was not expected to abate until after midnight.
"The forecast was not encouraging at all," said Sandy Alderson, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations. "We expect even heavier rain between 9 and 9:30."
The series, led by the Yankees 2-0, will resume Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET, given the encouraging forecast for the rest of the weekend.
Friday night's scheduled pitchers, Kevin Brown for New York and Bronson Arroyo of the Red Sox, will take the mound as planned. However, the extra day of rest will likely alter both teams' pitching rotations for the remainder of the ALCS.
Tickets to Friday's postponed game will be good for Monday's makeup game.
The tickets are marked "Home Game #1" -- which technically will now be played Monday at 5:10 p.m. ET. However, if the Cardinals sweep the Astros in the NLCS, the game will move to prime time at 8 p.m. ET.
The announcement to postpone the game came at 8:05 p.m. ET, two hours and 35 minutes after the vanguard of a heavy storm began drenching Fenway Park and 14 minutes before the scheduled first pitch.
But Alderson, as Commissioner Bud Selig's onsite representative, had been meeting since 6 o'clock with representatives of both clubs, the FOX Network, groundskeepers and the umpiring crew.
"The reason we waited as long as we did, we wanted to gain trust in the forecast," Alderson said. "Through eight o'clock, what we were seeing was very consistent with what we'd been told to expect. So we had more confidence in the ultimate forecast."
The rainout marked Fenway Park's second in consecutive LCS. Game 4 of last year's series between the same teams was also postponed by rain.
Prior to that, there had not been a postseason postponement since Game 1 of the 1996 World Series, in Yankee Stadium between Atlanta and the Yankees.
Under the threat of a forecast of heavy rain into the early hours on Saturday, the postponement was anticipated given MLB's ongoing resolve to protect the integrity of postseason games.
No postseason game in history has ever been abridged by inclement weather. This has been true regardless of playing conditions.
For instance, Game 6 of the 1982 World Series between the Cardinals and Brewers was interrupted by numerous lengthy rain delays, the last in the top of the eighth virtually emptying St. Louis' Busch Stadium. Despite the Cards leading 13-1, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn refused to call the game, which ended in the wee hours.
Alderson acknowledged the irony of Thursday night's Game 2 of the NLCS being played in a driving rain in the same Busch Stadium.
"That was a very different situation in St. Louis," Alderson said. "They had a very different forecast and playing surface."
Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre and Boston manager Terry Francona both said their clubs would adhere to original pitching plans.
But neither sounded overly resolute.
"After Kevin Brown, El Duque (Orlando Hernandez) is tentatively still on for Game 4," Stottlemyre said. "I doubt very much that will change. But I can't tell you it won't."
And Francona said, "The next two (Tim Wakefield on Sunday to follow Arroyo) are etched in stone. After that, most likely it will be Derek (Lowe). Then Pedro (Martinez) with an extra day. But we reserve the right to change that."
The significance of an extra idle day, of course, is that Game 1 starters can now be brought back on routine rest a game earlier than expected.
Meaning, Mike Mussina, who otherwise would have pitched Game 5 on Sunday on four days' rest, now can do so in what becomes Game 4.
And with Curt Schilling's ankle having likely ruled him out for the rest of the series, Boston Game 2 starter Pedro Martinez can go on Monday, in the spot designated for Lowe.
Brown, the notoriously tightly-wound veteran right-hander, may be a lot more affected by the postponement than his youthful adversary.
"Bronson has shown the ability to make adjustments all year long," Francona said. "Early on, he was the one guy who got bounced around from time to time.
"He'll be fine. This will have no bearing on how he pitches (Saturday)."
According to Stottlemyre, Brown was virtually bouncing off walls waiting for Friday night's game to start.
"Kevin Brown was very ready to pitch tonight," Stottlemyre said. "He was more antsy than anyone else, very anxious.
"He will have the opportunity to go through it again (Saturday) night, to put his game-face back on. I don't think it will affect him."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.