As we speak, it is in the upper 70s in Milwaukee. At game time this afternoon it will be around 76 degrees. The skies are as clear as a bell. It should remain gorgeous throughout the evening. Indeed, the Milwaukee weather is expected to be spectacular though at least next Wednesday.
So naturally baseball has decreed that the retractable roof at Miller Park be closed for this afternoon’s deciding Game 5 between the Brewers and the Dbacks.
According to Tom Haudricourt, baseball says it must be so because they want conditions to be “consistent with the first four games” of the series. Because that’s what baseball is all about. Absolutely no weather, sunshine, breezes or variances of any kind. If God had expected baseball games to be played to the open air He wouldn’t have created domes. And no, those giant motors that retract the roof at Miller Park are not His creations. They were forged in the fires of Hades.
I’m sorry, but can anyone provide me with anything approaching a rational explanation here? MLB? If you have a better statement than “we want the conditions to be the same,” I’ll run it. Preferably one that would hold up if, say, the Brewers had played their road games someplace besides Arizona.
Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.
Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.
Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.
That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.
Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.