ARLINGTON (AP) – Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington kept looking out his window at home during an unexpected night off during the American League championship series.
Where was all the rain?
Not at Rangers Ballpark, or Washington’s house only a few blocks away.
Game 2 of the ALCS was postponed Sunday because of a forecast calling for more wet weather after the series opener the night before was delayed twice by rain for a total of one hour, 50 minutes.
“Oh, I looked outside my window all night. It never came,” Washington said Monday before Game 2. “But, you know, there were storms out there, and you didn’t know if they were going to make it or not. So they did what they felt they had to do.”
While the forecast was more dire than it was for Saturday’s start-and-stop game that didn’t end until just after midnight, the decision to postpone Sunday night’s game was made about four hours before the scheduled first pitch. No rain was falling at the time.
“This is kind of a mystery,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Monday. “I was telling somebody if somebody buys an umbrella down here, they cancel school, evidently. I don’t know.”
Meteorologist Joe Harris from the National Weather Service in Fort Worth said no rain was recorded after 1 p.m. Sunday at the Arlington airport, which is less than 10 miles south of Rangers Ballpark.
The ballpark is between that airport and Washington’s house.
The rain delays Saturday night and the postponement Sunday came after one of the hottest and driest summers ever in North Texas.
There were 27 Rangers home games this season when the temperature was 100 degrees or more at first pitch. There hadn’t been a rain delay in Texas since May 24, and the only rainout there was May 11 in a game that was stopped after 3 1/2 innings.
When the decision was made Sunday to postpone Game 2, Rangers president Nolan Ryan said the concern was maintaining the integrity of the game and not creating a situation where the elements could possibly affect the outcome. Officials also wanted to avoid the possibility of having a repeat of Saturday night with a potential of delays once the game started.
“I’m glad I didn’t have to make that call,” Washington said.
At the time Sunday night’s game was scheduled to begin, there were mostly overcast skies but no rain at the ballpark.
Monday’s forecast was for virtually no chance of rain. Skies were clearing and the sun was starting to break through the clouds while the Tigers took batting practice about an hour before the scheduled first pitch.
The unexpected day off Sunday had benefits for both teams.
For the Rangers, it meant an extra day of rest for reliever Alexi Ogando, who threw two scoreless innings after the rain delays to win Saturday night. The reliever-turned-starter in the regular season who is back in the bullpen for the playoffs, has all four Texas victories against Detroit this season.
Detroit added Delmon Young to their ALCS roster after losing Magglio Ordonez. The Tigers announced Sunday that Ordonez, another starting outfielder, re-fractured his surgically repaired right ankle and is done for the season.
Young had been thought to be out for the series with a strained left oblique. But he was back in the lineup, batting third and in left field, after a couple of days of workouts and more medical tests that revealed the oblique might not have been the real issue.
There was also more rest for Game 2 starter Max Scherzer, who threw 1 1-3 innings in relief in the ALCS clincher against the New York Yankees on Thursday night.
“I disagree with everybody that I’ve watched on television this morning that says this is a big advantage for the Rangers, because of their bullpen, Ogando. I disagree with that totally,” Leyland said. “It’s just as much an advantage for us.
“Scherzer got another day’s rest. I think this works in our favor. Plus, now we’re going to play four straight days,” he said. “I don’t see where it’s a big advantage to the Rangers like everybody else says. I’m not saying it’s a big advantage to us either, but I don’t think it’s more of an advantage for them. I think it works just as well for us as them.”
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