KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Trying to climb out of a 2-0 hole in the American League Championship Series, the Orioles will need to wait another day to narrow the gap with the Kansas City Royals after Game 3 at Kauffman Stadium was postponed Monday.
With heavy rain and high winds pelting Kansas City since Monday morning, Major League Baseball made its announcement 3 1/3 hours before the scheduled start time of 8:07 p.m. Game 3 will now be played at the same time on Tuesday night while Games 4 and 5 are scheduled to begin at 4:07 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.
Managers Buck Showalter and Ned Yost confirmed that left-hander Wei-Yin Chen and right-hander Jeremy Guthrie would still make the start for their respective clubs in Game 3, but Game 4 now becomes more of a mystery. Game 1 starters Chris Tillman and James Shields would both be pitching on regular rest on Wednesday, and neither skipper ruled out his series-opening pitcher as a possibility.
Miguel Gonzalez and Jason Vargas were scheduled to square off in Game 4 before Monday’s postponement. Tillman completed a bullpen session on Monday and told reporters he would be prepared to start the fourth game of the series if called upon.
“Chen will pitch [Tuesday], and after that we’ll probably have a better idea,” Showalter said. “The weather report’s good [Tuesday], right? That’s about all I can tell you today until [pitching coach Dave Wallace] and I sit down and look at it a little bit.”
While the Orioles will need to do some significant work in Kansas City, the clubs now face the possibility of playing the final five games of the series over five straight days, which could make for some interesting decisions as to who would start games late in the series. The consensus among most players in the clubhouse following the announcement of the postponement was that a second day off in a row on Monday helped from a physical standpoint, but they downplayed any other psychological impact — positive or negative — for either side.
Showalter once again showed that he’s not allowing the pressure of the ALCS to affect his sense of humor when asked if having another night off would be a disadvantage for the Royals after their blazing start to the postseason.
“No, but I appreciate you throwing it out there,” said Showalter as he chuckled. “When you get good things going this time of year, it’s about who pitches better and plays better. I don’t think so. If anything, it’s great for the restaurant business in Kansas City. That’s about it. Room service is expensive in that hotel.”