Rain forecast, but gates open for Game 6
Both clubs hopeful ALCS will be played as planned tonight
NEW YORK -- The weather powers-that-be have already swung and missed in a big way this postseason at Yankee Stadium, forecasting unplayable conditions for a game that eventually went 13 innings.
If lightning could not strike twice for tonight's Game 6 of the American League Championship Series in the Bronx, both the Yankees and the Angels would be very pleased.
As the lights came on in the Bronx and a light drizzle continued to sprinkle the tarpaulin on a warm evening, the Yankees' weather update page -- Yankees.com/weather -- said the gates were opening as scheduled at 5 p.m.
"We want to play. That's the bottom line," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Saturday. "You want to play. You get too many off-days and we're not used to them. Baseball players aren't used to them."
Weather.com was forecasting continuing rain and thunder in the Bronx, with an 90 percent chance of precipitation at the scheduled 7:57 p.m. ET first pitch and temperatures near 66 degrees, with thunderstorms and a 100 percent chance of precipitation at 9 p.m. before tapering off after midnight.
The National Weather Service called for showers and possibly a thunderstorm before midnight, with some storms producing gusty winds and heavy rain. The chance of precipitation was 100 percent, with a low around 55 degrees and new rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
AccuWeather.com was predicting heavy rain and a thunderstorm in the evening for Game 6, with potential flooding in the Yankee Stadium area and a low near 54 degrees.
Girardi said that he expects the Yankees to play, and that the reports delivered to the manager's office have been largely unconvincing.
"I've heard no chance [of a game], I've heard there's a chance that we'd move through and we might start delayed, and I've heard we can start and it may come back," Girardi said. "That's kind of like the last weather forecasts we got."
Weather played a large role in Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS, both won by the Yankees in cold and raw conditions that made it somewhat uncomfortable for players, who wore earflaps on their caps and face masks.
But the Yankees opened the gates on time to fans for both contests, and the rain, more prevalent in the late innings of the 13-inning Game 2, never made the field unplayable.
The scheduled Game 6 starting pitchers are Joe Saunders for the Angels and Andy Pettitte for the Yankees. Manager Joe Girardi said that if there is a postponement, he would stay with Pettitte for Game 6, setting up CC Sabathia to pitch a potential Game 7 of the ALCS or Game 1 of the World Series.
"The last two games we played here were supposed to be canceled and ... we didn't get a drop of rain," Pettitte said. "I figure we're going to play it."
In the event of a postponement, Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo said the tickets for ALCS games are honored when that game is played. For example, if Game 6 were to not be played on Saturday, those tickets would be accepted at Yankee Stadium gates on the Game 6 reschedule date.
The Yankees have invited fans interested in weather updates concerning home games to visit Yankees.com/weather.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.