Saturday, October 10, 2009
Phillies-Rockies pushed back to Sunday
ESPN.com news services
DENVER -- Colorado manager Jim Tracy suspected this might not be a night for baseball when even his dogs wanted to skip the morning walk.
Major League Baseball agreed with Tracy's beagles.
Game 3 of the Phillies-Rockies playoff on Saturday night has been postponed because of cold, snowy weather.
Snow covers the playing surface of Coors Field, seen from the main concourse Saturday in Denver.
Major League Baseball rescheduled the game for Sunday night at 10:07 p.m. ET, and Game 4 was pushed back to Monday, at a time to be determined. Game 5, if necessary, will be played as scheduled on Tuesday in Philadelphia, without a day off for travel.
"I think it's a very wise decision," Tracy told The Associated Press by phone. "You could have something happen in weather like this where you could lose a player for half a year in 2010. I don't think that would be good for anybody."
The delay gave the teams a chance to tweak their pitching rotations, and the Phillies announced Saturday morning they now planned to start rookie left-hander J.A. Happ in Game 3 instead of Pedro Martinez.
Happ, a rookie, said Friday he felt better after being knocked out of Game 2. He entered in relief and took a hard liner off his left leg in the seventh inning.
The Rockies will stick with right-handed starter Jason Hammel for Game 3 but they could move up ace Ubaldo Jimenez for Game 4, when the Phillies will counter with Game 1 winner Cliff Lee.
Staying with their left-handers, the Phillies will start Cole Hamels in Game 5 if it is needed.
"There's no question about the type of play that you would see in this kind of weather versus if you have better conditions that they're calling for Sunday," Tracy said. "To be cold and wet and rainy and sleety or snowy is completely different than cold and dry and clear."
Surely any dog would know that. Well, at least Tracy's.
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"We got up to take the dogs for a walk and when two beagles don't want to go outside, I don't see how baseball players would see this as a real good day to be playing," he said. "It was snowing and 18 degrees, not very conducive for baseball."
The Phillies holed up in their hotel Saturday with only a few players heading to the ballpark for some work. The Rockies summoned their players for a 90-minute workout inside Coors Field.
"We're going over at noon to do what we can indoors," Tracy said. "We just want to keep ourselves on somewhat of a schedule."
If the Yankees and Angels finish off sweeps of the Twins and Red Sox respectively on Sunday, the Phillies-Rockies game Monday is expected to be played at 7 p.m. ET. If one of the AL series is still alive, the Phillies and Rockies would tentatively play at 5 p.m. If both AL series are still going, the Phillies-Rockies game would be at 2 p.m.
The NL Division Series is tied at one game each.
A cold front moved into Denver overnight, dropping temperatures into the teens with record lows for the date. Coors Field was covered with a thin layer of snow and ice Saturday morning and flurries were expected to continue through the night.
National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Thaler said the cold front packed more punch than expected and easily broke the record low for the date of 25 degrees set in 1905.
"It's not going to get as warm as we thought. It got much colder than we anticipated," Thaler said. "We crushed the record: 17 today, 7:22 this morning. Up in the foothills it's even colder."
The front will move out Saturday night and temperatures are expected to approach 50 on Sunday.
"It's still not going to be a delightful time tomorrow night," Thaler said. "Baseball is 70s and 80s and 90s weather. It's not going to be that. By the end of the game, it might be sneaking into the mid- to upper 30s. You're still going to want to bundle up, but it will be warmer than today."
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com senior baseball writer Jayson Stark was used in this report.