Heavy rain forced the suspension of Game Five of Major League Baseball's World Series in Philadelphia, Monday night. The host Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays were tied a 2-all in the sixth inning when field conditions were ruled unplayable. VOA Sports Editor Parke Brewer was there and has a report.
Early in the game there was just light rain, but by the third inning it was pouring and often blowing sideways in cold, gusting winds. The temperature had fallen to four degrees, so it was terrible weather for baseball, much less an important World Series game.
The host Phillies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, thanks to two walks, a hit batsman and a two-run single by outfielder Shane Victorino.
Tampa Bay scored one run in the fourth inning on a single by third baseman Evan Longoria, who drove in first baseman Carlos Pena, who had doubled. Pena also drove in the run in the sixth inning that tied the game at 2-all, and when the Rays made the final out in their half of that inning, the game was stopped.
Umpire Tim Tschida said the grounds crews had done an excellent job to allow the game to go on as long as it did.
"They groomed the field after the fourth inning every half inning, and they were keeping up with it," he said. "And, then, the velocity of the rain made it such than when we were playing the top of the sixth inning, it became harder and harder."
So it was at that point the game was stopped, and 30 minutes later Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig made the decision to call it a night. They hope to resume play Tuesday night at about 8:30 p.m., but rain remains in the forecast.
Selig said there was no consideration to trying to resume play during daytime hours, Tuesday.
"You know these fans obviously came and bought tickets for a night game, so they deserve to come back and see a night game," he said. "It'll be the same starting time, whether it's Tuesday night, or Wednesday night or Thursday night or whenever."
Never in the history of the World Series has there been a game shortened by rain.
The Philadelphia Phillies lead this best-of-seven Series, three games to one, and are hoping they can clinch their first baseball championship since 1980 before their home fans. Game Five will resume in Philadelphia - right where it left off in the middle of the sixth inning with the Phillies ready to bat. If the game concludes Tuesday and the Rays win, Game Six would be back in Florida, Wednesday night.