One of the inherent traits of Wrigley Field—the longtime home of the Chicago Cubs—is the fact that it sits about a mile from the shores of Lake Michigan. As such, at times the venerable stadium is susceptible to foggy conditions.
That was certainly the case on Monday with the Cubs hosting the Cincinnati Reds.
The fog was thick enough to engulf most of the field and set up some unique circumstances for the NL Central matchup.
UPDATE: Tuesday, June 11, at 1:35 a.m. ET by Doug Mead
Reds manager Dusty Baker managed the Chicago Cubs from 2003 to 2006, but he had never witnessed anything close to what he saw on Monday night at Wrigley Field.
“I’ve seen the fog come in like that in Candlestick Park, where they blow the foghorns so ships can see in the night. That was pretty weird,” Baker said. “I didn’t know if they were going to continue the game. When that ball went to X in the first inning, we all lost it and he said he saw it. Then I saw the game was (delayed) in the White Sox park — I’d never seen ‘F’ up there (on the scoreboard). I didn’t know what the ‘F’ was for. I thought maybe an ‘R’ fell off. Then I figured out it was for ‘fog’ and I’m just glad we got that in in regulation.”
On the South Side, with the Chicago White Sox dealing with a lengthy fog-related delay of their own, Sox pitcher Dylan Axelrod was actually glad the fog rolled in to U.S. Cellular Field:
The White Sox ended up with a 10-6 victory despite the three home runs given up by Axelrod.
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UPDATE: Monday, June 10, at 11:25 p.m. ET by Doug Mead
The Chicago Cubs weren't the only ones in town affected by the fog. Their brethren on the South Side—the Chicago White Sox— experienced their own dreary conditions.
With the White Sox holding a 4-2 lead over the Toronto Blue Jays in the bottom of the third, umpires at US Cellular Field deemed the field unplayable because of the dreary conditions.
Play was resumed after a one-hour, 10-minute delay, but fog was still prevalent when the game was resumed.
---End of update---
Here's just one look at what fans and members of the press saw from behind home plate at the Reds-Cubs game:
And here's another photo, just in case you didn't think they were crazy enough to play baseball in these conditions:
Apparently, it wasn't just the announcers having a hard time seeing anything:
Here is another look, just because overkill is cool when looking at fog:
Even though the Cubs are much more used to playing in these conditions, it was the Reds that took advantage, specifically cleanup hitter Brandon Phillips.
Phillips drove in the first run of the game in the top of the first inning with a single to right field. In the top of the third, Phillips struck again, this time clubbing a grand slam to give the Reds a 5-0 advantage.
The problem with Phillips' homer is that it's possible not too many fans even saw it.
This one certainly didn't:
Phillips finished the night with six RBI.
Reds starter Homer Bailey appeared to be completely unfazed by the fog, as he limited the Cubs to one run (zero earned) over eight innings.
The Reds were eventually victorious, walking out of the fog with a 6-2 win.
That's life at quirky Wrigley Field.