MLB

Rainout is actually good for Series

Was it the right call to postpone Game 6 of the World Series? Ken Rosenthal weighs in.
Was it the right call to postpone Game 6 of the World Series? Ken Rosenthal weighs in.
Share This Story

Jon Paul Morosi

Jon Paul Morosi is a National MLB Writer for FOXSports.com. He previously covered baseball for the Detroit Free Press and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He began his journalism career at the Bay City Times in his native Michigan. Follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
 
   
 

ST. LOUIS

You don’t like rainouts. I don’t like rainouts. Bud Selig, Tony La Russa, Ron Washington, Mike Napoli, Jason Motte, Lance Lynn, the Rally Squirrel — they probably don’t like rainouts, either.

Game 6 of the World Series was postponed Wednesday. My sources said, “Booooooooooo!”

Since childhood, we’ve been conditioned to associate precipitation with bad news — except, of course, when snow days are involved. Snow days are the coolest.

But I’m here to deliver some shocking news: By the end of this week, you will be glad that Major League Baseball pushed back Game 6 from Wednesday to Thursday. And I’m happy to give you five reasons why.

1. The Verlander Effect

Because of Justin Verlander’s certain Cy Young and likely MVP season, he carried the most hype of any starting pitcher into this postseason. And he even though he won two games to help the Tigers come within two victories of the World Series, his October will be better remembered for something else: raindrops.

He started Game 1 of the American League Division Series against New York but pitched just one inning … because it rained.

He started Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against Texas but pitched just four innings … because it rained.

It’s hard to argue that the weather significantly affected the Tigers’ shot at winning the pennant; Texas simply played better in the ALCS. But Verlander’s curtailed starts diminished the postseason’s entertainment value, because he had been so captivating throughout the regular season.

By calling Game 6 several hours in advance, MLB eliminated the possibility that weather will have a disproportionate effect on which team wins the World Series. The two starting pitchers — Colby Lewis for Texas, Jaime Garcia for St. Louis — deserve to pitch to their full capability on the biggest night of their professional lives.

2. The Fisk Effect

If baseball fans are lucky, Game 6 of ’11 will join in the waterlogged lineage of the most famous World Series Game 6 ever — the one at Fenway Park on Oct. 21, 1975.

Rain postponed that Game 6 for three days, forcing Reds manager Sparky Anderson to take his team to Tufts University in nearby Medford, Mass., for an indoor workout. We’ll never know if the delays helped the drama build. But it’s certainly possible, based on what occurred when the teams finally reconvened at Fenway Park.

The Reds and Red Sox played for 4 hours and 1 minute on a Tuesday night, until Carlton Fisk waved his home run fair in the bottom of the 12th inning. Boston’s 7-6 victory forced a Game 7, where Cincinnati prevailed, 4-3.

If the Rangers and Cardinals follow the same script, the best moments in this World Series are yet to come.

3. Keep the bats warm

Consider what the Cardinals and Rangers lineups have produced so far in this World Series:

• First two games, in St. Louis: 4 combined runs per game, on average.

EVASIVE MANEUVER

Watch Yankees' Ichiro wiggle away from Orioles' Matt Wieters' tag in Game 2 of the ALDS.

• Next three games, in Texas: 11 combined runs per game, on average.

OK, so the numbers at Rangers Ballpark were inflated by the Cardinals’ 16-7 rout in Game 3. But you get the point. If you like offense, a cold, drizzly night in St. Louis isn’t your idea of perfect baseball weather. In that event, your patience should be rewarded. The conditions Thursday night are supposed to be better than what the teams would have seen Wednesday.

Another benefit of the postponement is that ailing sluggers Josh Hamilton (possible sports hernia) and Matt Holliday (inflamed tendon in his right middle finger) will get additional rest. So, the extra rest should have a positive impact on both lineups.

4. Rested relievers are better relievers

The Cardinals and Rangers won pennants without getting a quality start from their rotations during the LCS round, so we knew that the bullpens would play a big role in the World Series.

Of course, we didn’t know the bullpen phones would be such a huge topic.

By now, of course, you know the story: La Russa wanted Bruce Sutter to face Mike Napoli in Game 5, but the bullpen sent him Dizzy Dean. Or something like that.

With that controversy behind us — maybe — here’s the important point about the Game 6 postponement: Every reliever on both teams will have had a minimum of two days off by the time play resumes Thursday night. Since October for a reliever is like April for an accountant, both staffs will feel as if they just spent a week on Kauai.

Translation: Motte and closer counterpart Neftali Feliz should have plenty of life in their right arms, enough that their managers may be tempted to squeeze more than three outs from them.

5. Seventh wonder?

But I will say this: If there is a Game 7, we would need a three-hour pregame show to discuss all the storylines and subplots.

For one thing, there would be no escaping the fact that Albert Pujols would be playing his final game before free agency. Fans and media would be sniffing around — even more so than usual — for clues about Prince Albert’s offseason plans.

MLB

WORLD SERIES CENTRAL

Cardinals are crowned the champs. Look back on every game of the Fall Classic on FOX.

Most of the intrigue, though, would involve pitching — and Wednesday’s postponement acted as a multiplier.

La Russa’s options to start Friday would include Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson and now Chris Carpenter (on short rest). The versatile Jake Westbrook could play an enhanced role in long relief.

Washington, meanwhile, would have the option of going with Game 4 hero Derek Holland — on regular rest — over scheduled starter Matt Harrison. Washington has insisted that Harrison is his man for Game 7, and that shouldn’t be surprising. He tends to stick with his players, no matter how much outside pressure suggests he should do otherwise.

But if the Rangers fall in seven games without Holland getting a chance to build on his 8 1/3 scoreless innings, then Washington will be second-guessed … almost as much as La Russa has been this week.

For all of that, we can thank Mother Nature. She has quite a flair for the dramatic.

Tagged: Tigers, Rangers, Cardinals, Matt Holliday, Justin Verlander, Mike Napoli, Matt Harrison

More Stories From Jon Paul Morosi

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..