Major League Baseball could have pushed to have Game 6 of the World Series played after an exciting first five games with only a small slate of NHL games to compete against Wednesday night. But the league did the right thing and decided to postpone the game and resume play on Thursday.
While canceling the game seemed like a no-brainer with rain expected all night, credit MLB for learning from its past, most notably, Game 5 of the 2008 World Series between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.
The Phillies had a 3-1 series lead and were looking to clinch the series on their home field at Citizens Bank Ballpark. With rain in the forecast for later in the evening, the teams began the game regardless. They made it through the top of the sixth inning before the game was called for the night, making it the first ever World Series game to be suspended.
Rain continued to fall the next day, the game would not be resumed and finished until Oct. 29, two days after it began. The Phillies, of course, won the game and the series.
The weather created a mess for the end of the Series and put a potential clinching game on hold for two days, something that should have been avoided at all costs. Game 1 of this year’s ALDS between Detroit and New York started, but rain suspended the game midway through the second inning. While it wasn’t a World Series game, it did ruin a marquee pitching matchup between Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia.
On Wednesday, the Rangers would have had an opportunity to clinch the series, but after meeting with the teams, the league make the right move to prevent a repeat of 2008.
The extra day makes things more interesting as teams are forced to reevaluate their strategies, especially with pitching. An extra day of rest means the Rangers could consider starting Derek Holland on short rest. He was dominant in Game 4, pitching 8 1/3 shutout innings.
This World Series may be lacking big-name, big-market teams like Boston, New York or Philadelphia, but it’s hard to deny this Fall Classic has been anything short of exciting and great for the league.
Thanks, MLB, for not messing it up.