Reds miffed by mid-afternoon games
Growing shadows, no lights make 3:55 p.m. starts unpopular
CINCINNATI -- In recent years, Adam Dunn has made it clear he's no fan of mid-afternoon games at Great American Ball Park.
Prior to Saturday's game -- one of three 3:55 p.m. ET starts in Cincinnati this season -- Reds manager Dusty Baker echoed the left fielder's sentiments.
"It's a bad time for everybody," Baker said. "The sun's working, but not quite enough. It's not dark enough for the lights to work. You can't see out there."
Baker recalled when his Dodgers teammate Ron Cey was struck in the head by a Goose Gossage pitch in Game 5 of the 1981 World Series.
"That game was around the same time," Baker said. "The sun set over the roof of Yankee Stadium. I hated playing there during that time."
The sun at Great American Ball Park begins to dip below the ballpark's upper rim in the early innings, making it difficult for outfielders -- particularly in left -- to pick up fly balls.
The pre-dusk illumination has proven to be an advantage for pitchers, as well.
Saturday's starters -- Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens and the Reds' Josh Fogg -- likely will look to take advantage of the poor lighting.
"Hitters will be searching for the ball," Baker said. "You don't want to go out there to get it."
Jeff Wallner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.