Major League Baseball did everything that it could to get in Game 5 between the Yankees and Cleveland Guardians, but the weather just wouldn’t cooperate. After the rain fell steadily for more than two hours, the game was finally pushed back until Tuesday afternoon with the series still deadlocked at two games apiece.
The game was officially postponed at 9:36 p.m. after fans had waited under the overhangs at Yankee Stadium hoping to see baseball be played. The deciding Game 5 will now be played at 4:07 p.m. on Tuesday with the winning team having to fly out to Houston to begin the American League Championship Series on Wednesday.
The irony of the situation was those moments before the game was called two Guardian players had emerged from the dugout and began to play catch.
Rain had been forecasted to fall around the 7:07 first pitch time for the better part of the day. Yankees manager Aaron Boone and Guardians manager Terry Francona had been in multiple weather-related meetings with MLB officials prior to the game.
General manager Brian Cashman said that there had been six Zoom calls with MLB, Cleveland and the office of the Commissioner. The forecast that Cashman had received was that they could get the game going anywhere from 7:30 to 9 p.m. the latest they could get the game in, but the weather system slowed down and then a second system appeared out of nowhere.
“At no point was it ever that we expected not to play. We expected to play,” Cashman told reporters at Yankee Stadium. “It was supposed to be, not a window, it was supposed to clear and then a new system popped up. … We were actually wrestling with a first pitch time and then a new system popped up with moderate rain that was going to hit us in another 25 minutes and now we couldn’t start it again.”
Cashman added: “Weather is tricky, it’s very unpredictable, but the full intention was and expectation every step of the way was we were playing a game tonight. Both teams wanted to play tonight and then unfortunately weather took us down.”
The night didn’t really begin promising either when Boone had been asked about the forecast earlier.
“I’ve heard not great. So we’ll see,” Boone said about the weather during his 4 p.m. media availability.
The Yankees dealt with a number of rain delays during the early part of the season and already had one game in this series postponed due to the rain. Game 2 had to be pushed to Friday afternoon after inclement weather hit the New York area last week.
The forecast had changed throughout the day, which may have given baseball hope to sneak in the deciding game in the Bronx, but Boone wouldn’t have been a fan of starting and then having to pause play if rain rolled through.
“Even in the regular season, I don’t necessarily love that,” Boone said. “I don’t want to do that. But yeah, I don’t want to — if weather is an issue, like I don’t want to be powering through that necessarily.”
The Yankees skipper had reiterated that any decision about the game would be ultimately up to the league.
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While the fans and teams waited for Major League Baseball to finally postpone the game, music blared throughout the stadium and the New York Rangers game along with NYCFC’s first-round playoff game was played on the video board.
Before the rain started, several members of the Guardians threw around a football in front of the team dugout. The group included Myles Straw and at one point they threw the ball into the stands to play catch with some Yankee fans behind the dugout.
There was a loud groan inside the stadium when the game had finally been called and fans outside expressed disappointment as they made their way to the subway. Cashman offered an apology to those who waited only for the game to be called two hours past the scheduled start time.
“That’s the worst situation to have. You feel horrible that your fans are sitting through that,” he said. “They’re hungry. They want to be here, they’re committed. They want to watch a game play out and no one wants to have what happened tonight. No one would draw it up that they would have a situation where everyone is here patiently waiting for something. … A lot of people were forced to wait through some bad weather. And for that, we’re sorry.”