7:03 PM ET: The skies have opened up at Busch Stadium and Game 3 of the NLCS is in a delay.
The Giants took a 1-0 lead on a Pablo Sandoval RBI groundout in the top of the third inning, but the Cardinals have provided all the scoring since. Matt Carpenter launched a two-run homer to right field in the bottom of the third, then Shane Robinson drove in David Freese from third base with a one-out, bases-loaded groundout to Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro in the bottom of the seventh. That’s when the rain picked up and the tarp was called for.
There’s a nasty line of storms headed through downtown St. Louis, but the weather is supposed to clear up at some point later this evening. When Game 3 of the NLCS resumes, the Cardinals will have runners at second and third base with two outs. Jon Jay will be batting with a fresh count against a San Francisco reliever. The Redbirds currently lead this one 3-1.
UPDATE, 10:05 PM ET: The game is finally back on. Jay will face Giants left-hander Javier Lopez.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.