Not even Major League Baseball is safe from the perils of a power failure during a big game.
In the second inning of Tuesday's scoreless American League Championship Series Game 3 between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers, the lights at Comerica Park shut off and delayed the start of the bottom half of the inning. Tyler Kepner of the New York Times was in the press box and sent out this tweet at about 4:42 p.m. ET:
Uh-oh. Power just went out at Comerica.— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) October 15, 2013
The Red Sox's official Twitter account also sent out a picture of the situation, showing dusk descending upon Detroit's gray skies:
At long last, 17 minutes after the lights went out, play resumed as Red Sox pitcher John Lackey returned to the mound to face Jhonny Peralta:
Players are back on the field to resume the bottom of the 2nd. Good thing this power outage only lasted 17 minutes. #ALCS— MLB (@MLB) October 15, 2013
Pitchers are creatures of habit, and an extended layoff like this one can alter the course of a game. Luckily, the outage came early enough in the game that Lackey and his counterpart, Justin Verlander, still had plenty left in the tank.
Had it come later in the evening, managers Jim Leyland and John Farrell could have been forced to warm up their bullpens earlier than they would have liked.
In the innings immediately after the outage, it didn't appear to affect Lackey, though, according to the Red Sox:
Lack is dealing. 1-2-3 scoreless 3rd. #PowerOutageWhat? Victorino, Pedroia, Ortiz due up.— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) October 15, 2013
Once the lights turned back on and play resumed, MLive.com's Chris Iott shared an update from MLB:
Statement by MLB about the power outage was just read. It was long. In short: Power went out. Took a while for lights to come back on.— Chris Iott (@Chris_Iott) October 15, 2013
This is hardly the first time the lights have gone out in an American sporting event on a big stage. MLB's official Twitter account had a good sense of humor about the situation in Detroit, alluding to the infamous power outage during Super Bowl XLVII in February:
It's not a big game unless there's a power outage. #ALCS— MLB (@MLB) October 15, 2013
As the San Francisco 49ers tried to come back from a second-half deficit against the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans' Mercedes-Benz Superdome, about half the lights at the stadium went out and delayed play for 34 minutes.
The 49ers were also involved in another power outage gaffe in 2011 during a Monday Night Football contest when a transformer blew up next to Candlestick Park and delayed their contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers two different times.
After those power outages in the NFL made headlines, MLB has now joined the unique club.