Not a good couple of days to be a Pirates fan.
After being one-hit by Johnny Cueto before dozens of fans last night, Pittsburgh was shut out again this afternoon, this time by Homer Bailey — he of the 7.24 ERA entering play today — on four hits. And there was no mucking about here. The game took two hours and nineteen minutes. The Buccos didn’t walk once. Bailey had to throw a total of 90 pitches. He could probably come out of the pen tomorrow if he had to.
This is the first time that the Reds have thrown back-to-back shutouts since Tom Browning and Jose Rijo did it to the Dodgers back in June of 1989. At least the Dodgers had the comfort of being the defending World Series champs. The Pirates? Well, they at least get to go home tonight and watch the Penguins game.
The World Series is often played in near winter-like conditions. The 2008 Series was interrupted by a snowy, wintry mix. The 2012 World Series games in Detroit dipped into the 20s. It’s not uncommon to see players wearing balaclavas and other winter gear during the so-called “Fall Classic.”
Not this year, though. Indeed, this year we’re likely to see record high temperatures for Games 1 and 2 at Dodger Stadium.
As of this moment, WeatherUnderground.com forecasts a high in Los Angeles of 101 degrees for today’s World Series Media Day and highs of 102 and 98 for Games 1 and 2, respectively. First pitch for both games is just after 5PM Pacific time, when the sun will still be blazing. The sun will set about an hour or so in to the game which should cool things off somewhat, but the heat will definitely impact pregame workouts and the early innings. Fans showing up three or more hours before first pitch will do well to prepare themselves for the elements.
The hottest World Series game on record came in Phoenix for Game 1 in 2001 when the mercury stood at 94 degrees at game time. That year Major League Baseball unwisely demanded that the Chase Field roof be left open for the Diamondbacks-Yankees tilt. If there is a Game 6 and/or 7 things will be nicer as the long range forecast shows temperatures in the low 70s by then.
Hydrate well, Dodgers and Astros. Those of us watching from cooler temperatures and/or the comfort of our air conditioned homes will feel really bad for you.