The Arizona Diamondbacks’ contest against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday was suspended due to weather and will resume Wednesday at 2:10 p.m.
The D-backs had a 5-4 lead with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning, which is the point at which the game will continue before the regularly scheduled game for Wednesday at 3:40 p.m.
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo described the conditions as “brutal” from the fourth inning on, where temperatures under 50 degrees started to trend further down as the game progressed.
“These conditions were more suited for Boomer Esiason, Ken Anderson, Cris Collinsworth,” Lovullo joked with a nod to the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. “It was very uncomfortable.”
Lovullo said there was communication to make the clubs aware of the weather that was coming. He noted that baseball players keep going through light rain, so that part wasn’t so bad, and that the “driving rain” only started to come in the top of the eighth during Carson Kelly’s at-bat.
As rain continued to come down in the top of the eighth inning on Monday, the D-backs trailed 4-3.
The first batter of the inning, Andrew Young, faced Reds reliever Tejay Antone and hit a solo home run to tie the game.
Antone was pulled, and during the intermission for Reds reliever Amir Garrett to get ready, that’s when the rain picked up even more.
Garrett was clearly struggling with command, as he walked D-backs first baseman Pavin Smith and then right fielder Kole Calhoun got a double off an easy pitch to hit right down the middle.
That made it second and third with no outs, and Garrett got Asdrubal Cabrera to line out to second. Lucas Sims replaced Garrett after that, and once again, that slight delay for the reliever to enter the game allowed the weather to get more severe.
Sims’ first pitch to Wyatt Mathisen missed his spot by a good foot inside for a ball, and then the second was even worse, hitting Mathisen on the elbow.
That put the bases loaded for Kelly. Sims got ahead 0-2, but the count would go full after Kelly fouled off two pitches and Sims’ three balls were all wildly outside.
In the 30 seconds between Sims’ seventh pitch and eighth, the weather got beyond extreme, with sleet and even some hail beginning to come down. Predictably, Sims threw ball four to walk Kelly and bring in the go-ahead run.
Reds manager David Bell came out for an explanation, as it was clearly time for a delay, but it appeared the umpires wanted to keep going with Eduardo Escobar ready to step into the box.
Sims created his own delay from there, as he asked for a new ball from the umpire because his was too wet to grip, and then Sims kept throwing the balls back and asking for more.
The umpire kept obliging in a goofy and bizarre faceoff.
During that, Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart took off his facemask and held his hands up towards second base, where the crew chief for the game was.
After that odd minute, Bell came out again, and this time the umpires waved the grounds crew on the field to get the tarp and send us to a rain delay.
The rain later turned to snow as the delay continued.
It’s hard not to feel like the D-backs were fortunate with the outcome given the inability for Reds pitchers to find the strike zone through the weather, and the Reds will certainly be upset that the game was headed for an inevitable delay.
“I think the umpires always try and finish a batter or finish an inning, and that’s what I think they were looking for,” Lovullo said. “The score was tied, we knew the game was probably going to be stopped and potentially suspended, and the umpires had the chance for that … I think they wanted to have it end at a certain point to end the inning, but it never got there.”
As for the game itself, Zac Gallen started for the D-backs and gave up three earned runs in 5.2 innings. Gallen wasn’t particularly thrilled with his performance, as he walked four and allowed three hits as well. He threw 98 pitches in his second start of the season.
“It was OK. I just really couldn’t get in a rhythm,” Gallen said.
“Some of my job is to just try and keep us in the game, so in that sense, I was happy with that. But for the most part, it was whatever,” he added.
The D-backs had a three-run first inning via RBI singles from Cabrera and David Peralta before an RBI fielder’s choice for Kelly.
It’s funny that the game was halted at the point it was because it left the D-backs with the bases loaded, which they did themselves to end both the third and fourth innings without runs. In the bottom-half of both of those innings, the Reds tacked on a run.
With Gallen into the sixth inning, he got two outs before walking Barnhart. That’s when Lovullo came to get him, and Yoan Lopez immediately gave up a two-run homer to Cincinnati’s Kyle Farmer that made it 4-3 Reds.
Smith did his job for the D-backs in the leadoff spot, recording three hits and a walk in five at-bats.
Both of the games on Wednesday will be broadcasted on ESPN 620 AM.