World Series 2011: Game 6 Suspension Will Not Be a Factor

Gil Imber@RefereeOrganistAnalyst IIOctober 27, 2011

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 26:  Members of the field crew put the tarp on the field at Busch Stadium on October 26, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. Game 6 of the World Series has been postposed by Major League Baseball because of rainy weather. The game has been rescheduled for tomorrow night. Game 7, if necessary, will now be played on Friday night.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

After Game 5 of the 2011 World Series, the Texas Rangers had it all.

Coming off a clutch 4-2 win thanks to an MVP-in-the-making by the name of Mike Napoli, Texas was poised to win the World Series after returning to St. Louis for Wednesday's scheduled Game 6.

Not so fast.

Wanting desperately to avoid another weather-affected game via rain delays and/or suspended games, MLB put the kibosh on the Rangers' victory parade.

Last night, it drizzled and misted in St. Louis, but MLB was being cautious.

When rain suspended Game 5 of the 2008 World Series, the Rays and Phillies experienced what amounted to a two day rain delay, as a tie game hung in the balance heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.

It was the first game in World Series history to fall prey to suspension, and proved to be just as contentious a battle when it restarted as it had been when it was halted.

Needing a win to clinch the national championship, Philadelphia started the resumed contest by scoring a single run to regain the lead. When Tampa Bay retied the game half an inning later, it was as if the weather-induced suspension had never occurred.

The Phillies ultimately won the contest 4-3 and were proclaimed the champions of baseball.

In 1989 the A's-Giants World Series was interrupted prior to Game 3 as a result of the famous Loma Prieta earthquake, which occurred just 31 minutes prior to the scheduled first pitch.

Momentum does not vanish due to weather
Momentum does not vanish due to weatherRob Carr/Getty Images

When play resumed 10 days later, the A's, who led the series 2-0, continued their dominant play, easily taking Games 3 and 4 to sweep the World Series.

2011 marks the second time a potentially deciding Game 6 of the World Series has been postponed.

In 1981, the New York Yankees opened the World Series at home, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Games 1 and 2 as the series shifted to California.

At home, the Dodgers were electric, taking all three games at Chavez Ravine, and taking a 3-2 series lead as play shifted back to New York.

Just like Texas, the Dodgers had all the momentum in the world as they traveled back to a cold, windy town that had hurt them early in their World Series.

And just like Texas, the Dodgers were dealt a blow when baseball postponed Game 6 from October 27 to October 28.

However, the Dodgers never lost momentum nor their drive to win it all, thoroughly trouncing the Yanks 9-2 in Game 6.

The same could happen to the Rangers. There is no reason to doubt their drive to win, nor their momentum coming out of Texas. A single day's delay doesn't change that.

Instead, St. Louis might simply benefit from the additional day off. With days off prior to Games 1 and 3, the Cardinals beat Texas both times. Correspondingly, with a contest played the day before Games 2, 4 and 5, the Rangers beat St. Louis.

If you look at it that way, St. Louis has the upper hand.

However, the Rangers want to win Game 6. From manager Ron Washington to Yorvit Torrealba, the entire team wants to close it out today.

If history is any indication, the unexpected day off has only strengthened Texas' drive to win.

If needed, each and every Ranger will be ready to play. Derek Holland will be ready to come in as relief, just as Matt Treanor will be ready to catch or pinch hit.

The suspension of Game 6 will not be a factor in how the rest of this World Series plays out.

Both teams had an extra day to rest their staffs, to think, plan and prepare, and both teams will still play in the same atmospheric conditions.

If Texas is going to win or lose the World Series, it won't be because Game 6 was played a day later than it should have been.

It will be because of what the Rangers are able to do or not do in Game 6 and possibly 7 that decides who wins this year's baseball championship.


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