Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Rain, Lightning Suspends Bucs-Cubs

Tuesday night's Pirates-Cubs game in Pittsburgh was suspended in the bottom of the seventh inning when heavy rain and lightning struck down on PNC Park. The game is slated to be resumed today at 12:35 p.m. with the Cubbies leading 6-5, and the Pirates coming to bat, we hope sans those hideous red alternate jerseys. The rain began falling in the top of the seventh, just when Chicago was staging a rally in which the Windy City squad battled back from a 5-2 deficit.

An afternoon game that was originally scheduled for today will begin approximately 20-30 after the completion of the suspended game.

Last night's rain delay lasted 2 hours and 18 minutes before the announcement of the suspension. Only a handful of fans remained in the stands at the time of the announcement. According to the Pirates official Web site, the last time the Pirates played in a suspended was against the Cubs in Chicago on April 20, 1986. That game was suspended at the end of the 13th inning with the score tied at 8-8. The Pirates later won the game in the 15th inning, 10-8.

Last night's game suspension was the result of a new rule set forth by major League Baseball at the beginning of this season, and explained best by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Jim Rodenbush:

Once a game becomes official and is stopped, it will be suspended if a.) the score is tied or b.) the visiting team takes the lead in the top half of an inning, and the bottom half of that inning does not get completed.

In the photo above, Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson flips ball to Freddy Sanchez at second for the force out in the seventh inning. Photo by Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

SPRINKLES: The final 11 matches of the Estoril Open were postponed by rain Tuesday. The clay-court event is taking place just outside of Lisbon in Oeiras, Portugal. There were several Associated Press photos to pick from in highlighting the tennis rain delay, but of course we chose the one with the pretty lady. …Did you hear the Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are playing today in an exhibition on a customized half-clay, half-grass court? Just wondering: Who has the advantage if it rains? Never mind. I just read the match is being played indoors. Well, that takes all the fun out of it. …Harvard played its spring football game last Saturday in a light rain. ….We are into May now and still talking about the problems that annually plague the Major League Baseball schedule makers. Katy Feeney, MLB's senior vice president who oversees scheduling, recently made some good points about the matter to the San Jose Mercury-News.

Weather Term of the Day:
THUNDERSTORM -- Produced by a cumulonimbus cloud, it is a microscale event of relatively short duration characterized by thunder, lightning, gusty surface winds, turbulence, hail, icing, precipitation, moderate to extreme up and downdrafts, and under the most severe conditions, tornadoes.

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