© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

World Series Game 4 rained out at Busch Stadium

Fans find shelter in a stairwell as a steady rain falls at Busch Stadium eventually forcing the cancellation of Wednesday's game. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)
Fans find shelter in a stairwell as a steady rain falls at Busch Stadium eventually forcing the cancellation of Wednesday's game. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)


St. Louis, MO – Rain in St. Louis yesterday and last night (Wednesday) forced the postponement of game four of the World Series.

The Cardinals and Detroit Tigers will still start their same two pitchers tonight that they were to start last night: Jeff Suppan for the Cards, Jeremy Bonderman for the Tigers.

But the extra day's rest allows the teams to possibly switch starters for later games.

It's the first time since 1996 that a World Series game has been postponed, and there's no guarantee that tonight's game will be played, either, because there's more rain in the forecast.

Tonight was supposed to be game five, and fans with game five tickets are being told to still show up, even though tonight's is now technically game four. Those who had tickets to last night's game should show up for tomorrow night's (Friday) game.

Major League Baseball also has to decide whether the teams would get a day off to travel back to Detroit if a game six is needed.

The Cardinals are used to being rained out during this year's playoffs; it happened twice during their series against the Mets.

The rainout leaves Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa with a number of options. He could juggle his rotation and bring back Jeff Weaver on regular rest in Game 5 instead of pitching rookie Anthony Reyes again. Reyes, however, dominated Detroit during a 7-2 victory in the opener.

The Redbirds already lead the best-of-seven Series 2-1 against a Tigers team that batted .185 and managed a total of only five runs in the first three games.

The last time the AL champions were rained out, though, they beat the New York Yankees the next three days to win their first-round playoff series.

"Maybe we can bounce back like that again," said Detroit leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson, who is 0-for-13 against St. Louis. "I played in this stuff plenty of times before, in high school and college."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland also could bump up lefty Kenny Rogers, who beat Weaver in Game 2 on Sunday night and extended his shutout streak to 23 innings this postseason. But Leyland specifically set up his rotation to give Rogers two starts at home, and the Series doesn't shift back to Detroit until Game 6.

"You can second-guess how the rotation's going to go the rest of the series, whatever you want to do," Leyland said. "Jeremy Bonderman is pitching the next game for the Tigers. He's earned it. He's one of our horses and he will be on the mound when Game 4 starts whenever that may be."

The weekend forecast in Detroit also calls for cold and rain.

"They're going to be dicey," said Jimmie Lee Solomon, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner's office. "There is about a 70% chance of rain (Thursday). It's going to be light rain. We don't know whether or not that rain will linger, like it did tonight."

After the Cardinals won 5-0 in Game 3 behind ace Chris Carpenter, a silver tarp covered the Busch Stadium infield all evening Wednesday. Players didn't come out to warm up and Game 4 never got started.

"This wouldn't have been a baseball game, it would have been survival," La Russa said. "I'm actually pleased for both teams that we're not playing. Fans, that wouldn't have been too much fun, either."

But Bonderman, slated to start against St. Louis' Jeff Suppan, was eager to pitch in the light drizzle early on. "We aren't sugar. We ain't going to melt," Bonderman said.

Tigers first baseman Sean Casey, however, thought Major League Baseball made the right call. "Guys getting hurt, having a five-inning World Series game, nobody wants that," Casey said.

A sparse crowd was informed of the rainout about three minutes after baseball made the announcement. Fans covered in plastic, many who stayed for hours hoping the rain would stop, quickly filed toward the exits.

Some had waited out the delay in the stands. Others packed the gift shop and lined up at concession stands.

Steady showers all day led to the first World Series rainout since the 1996 opener between the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees. The rain fell harder as the night progressed, and the game was called after a delay of 1 hour, 51 minutes, the first time a Series game in St. Louis has been rained out.

"It became apparent the front was not going to move through," Solomon said. "It stalled in front of us.

"Unfortunately, Friday's forecast is pretty bad also. We could get a soaking, as much as 2 or 2 1/2 inches, they say."

It also was the fourth washout of a wet postseason. The Cardinals had two games rained out in the NL championship series against the New York Mets, and Game 2 of Detroit's first-round series at Yankee Stadium also was postponed.