PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The World Series was on hold on Tuesday as weather forced a further delay to Game Five between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, which was suspended because of heavy rain on Monday with the score tied at 2-2.
With cold rain falling and a chance of snow showers in the forecast, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that Game Five would not resume on Tuesday. It is now tentatively scheduled to resume on Wednesday at 8:37 p.m., weather permitting.
Steady rain made the Citizens Bank Park field treacherous and threatened the safety of the players, leading MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to suspend Monday’s game — unprecedented in the 104-year history of the Fall Classic.
The Phillies are one win away from clinching their first championship in 28 years, holding a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Selig made it clear on Monday that the game would be completed in Philadelphia and not moved to Florida, where the Series would continue should the Rays eventually win Game Five.
Game Five will be picked up from the point at which it was stopped on Monday, with Philadelphia coming to bat in the bottom of the sixth.
Reliever Grant Balfour was Tampa Bay’s pitcher when play was halted and if he remains in the game would be facing the pitcher’s slot in the Phillies lineup.
Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels completed the sixth inning, giving up a game-tying single to Carlos Pena in the top half of the inning. He would certainly give way to a pinch-hitter once play is resumed.
The Rays had already checked out of their hotel, expecting to head back to Florida after the game win or lose, and had to scramble to find other accommodation. They ended up lodging in Delaware, half-an-hour’s drive away.
Monday’s suspension, which came after the severe weather left puddles on the base paths and forced many players to wear ear flaps to protect them against the cold, was the second time weather had affected the Series.
The start of Saturday’s Game Three was held up for 91 minutes because of rain and the contest won by the Phillies did not end until nearly 2 a.m.
Editing by Clare Fallon and Ken Ferris