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10/25/06 11:54 PM ET

Rain prompts postponement of Game 4

Forecasts predicting more precipitation for next two days

ST. LOUIS -- The World Series has been pushed back at least a day because Game 4 was rained out on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium, but the projected inclement weather here this week may make matters even worse.

Chances of playing Games 4 and 5 the next two days are "dicey," said Jimmie Lee Solomon, Major League Baseball's vice president of baseball operations after only the 19th washout in World Series history.

Thursday's weather report was horrible, with a full day of precipitation expected before the makeup night game at 8 p.m. ET. And Friday could be problematic as well. The weekend forecast, though, calls for sunny weather.

"Well, it's going to be dicey," Solomon said about the chances of playing the next two days. "[Thursday] there is about a 70-percent chance of rain. It's going to be light rain. We don't know whether or not that rain will linger like it did [on Wednesday night]. We are hopeful that it moves straight on through.

"Unfortunately, Friday's forecast is pretty bad, also. We could get a soaking -- as much as two or 2 1/2 inches, they say. We're hopeful that some of it turns around and doesn't come through."

As of now, if the games are played as scheduled the next two days, there will be no travel day if the best-of-seven Series returns to Detroit for the games originally slated, if necessary, on Saturday and Sunday nights.

But Solomon said that if the games at Busch Stadium are delayed until the weekend, Commissioner Bud Selig has the discretion to use Monday as a travel day with the possible games in Detroit being pushed back to Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

"That decision still has to be made," Solomon said.

The last long rain delay in the World Series was 1975, when Game 6 of the Red Sox-Reds Series was postponed for three days in Boston. That turned out to be the game Carlton Fisk won with a homer down the left-field line at Fenway Park in the bottom of the 12th inning to force Game 7. The Red Sox, of course, lost the Series.

Game 6 of the 1962 World Series between the Yankees and Giants at San Francisco was also delayed three days. And Game 4 of the 1911 World Series between the New York Giants and Philadelphia A's at Philadelphia was delayed a whopping six days.

The 1962 Series, which also included a Game 5 rainout at Yankee Stadium, took 13 days to play as the Yankees defeated the Giants in seven games.

Single-day postponements in World Series history
Date Postponed
Oct. 5, 1903 BOS (AL) @ PIT 4 Rain
Oct. 9, 1903 BOS (AL) @ PIT 7 Cold
Oct. 12, 1903 PIT @ BOS (AL) 8 Rain
Sept. 4, 1918 BOS (AL) @ CHI (NL) 1 Rain
Oct. 14, 1925 WAS @ PIT 7 Rain
Oct. 4, 1931 STL (NL) @ PHI (AL) 3 Rain
Oct. 1, 1936 NYY @ NYG 2 Rain
Oct. 3, 1941 NYY @ BKN 3 Rain
Oct. 7, 1951 NYY @ NYG 4 Rain
Oct. 4, 1956 NYY @ BKN 2 Rain
Oct. 9, 1962 SF @ NYY 5 Rain
Oct. 10, 1971 PIT @ BAL 2 Rain
Oct. 17, 1972 CIN @ OAK 3 Rain
Oct. 20, 1976 CIN @ NYY 4 Rain
Oct. 9, 1979 PIT @ BAL 1 Rain
Oct. 27, 1981 LA @ NYY 6 Rain
Oct. 26, 1986 BOS @ NYM 7 Rain
Oct. 19, 1996 ATL @ NYY 1 Rain
Oct. 25, 2006 DET @ STL 4 Rain

Right now, the Cardinals lead the best-of-seven Series, 2-1, and the Game 4 pitchers remain the same -- Jeremy Bonderman for the Tigers and Jeff Suppan for the Cardinals. Both teams are itching to play.

"You don't care what the conditions are. It's the World Series," Cardinals outfielder Preston Wilson said after the game was called off. "You'd play it if it was in a swimming pool right now. We want to play. And both teams have to play in the conditions, so it's not like one has an advantage over the other. You want to get out there and play. But as it is, we have to wait till [Thursday] and go from there."

On Wednesday, a light drizzle began falling early in the afternoon and turned to a steady downpour by game time, eventually leading to the first World Series postponement since Game 1 of the 1996 Series between the Yankees and Braves at Yankee Stadium.

It took 1 hour, 52 minutes, before MLB called off the game.

"We didn't have a definite time to do it, but it became apparent the front was not going to move through," Solomon said. "We anticipated the front going through earlier, as early as 8:00 p.m. [CT]. It was clear, with no rain behind it. So we waited. Then it was 8:30, then it was 8:45 and then it was 9:00. It stalled in front of us. There was no magic time to it, but after a while it became apparent we couldn't get started."

Previously, 18 World Series games had been rained out since 1903, but only three since 1981, when Game 6 of that World Series between the Yankees and Dodgers was also washed out at Yankee Stadium. Those last three World Series postponements were all in New York, including Game 7 of the 1986 Series between the Red Sox and Mets at Shea Stadium.

Multiple-day postponements in World Series
1911: NYG at PHI (AL) -- Game 4
Postponed six days (Oct. 18-23) due to rain
1962: NYY vs. SF -- Game 6
Postponed three days (Oct.12-14) due to rain
1975: CIN vs. BOS -- Game 6
Postponed three days (Oct. 18-20) due to rain
1989: OAK vs. SF -- Game 3
Postponed 10 days due to an earthquake
2001: NYY vs. ARI -- Start of Series
Pushed back one week (to Oct. 27) due to postponements after Sept. 11th attacks.

The Cardinals had to deal with two rainouts in the National League Championship Series against the Mets -- Game 1 at Shea Stadium and Game 5 at Busch Stadium. The Tigers also endured a previous rainout this postseason, when Game 2 of the American League Division Series was washed away at Yankee Stadium.

No World Series game has ever been shortened because of rain.

"There's a real touchy situation where neither the Commissioner of Baseball, nor the Cardinals, nor the Tigers, want to see a shortened World Series game," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "And I respect the [heck] out of [the Commissioner] for that. I don't want to play for six months to go to the World Series and have it decided in five innings. Neither does [Cards manager] Tony La Russa. And most importantly, neither does the Commissioner."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.