The Phillies and Reds did everything in their power to get last night’s game completed before rain storms that had previously delayed the start time caused the teams to suspend play.
Everything except score runs, that is.
The two clubs made it through eight and one-half innings of action in right around just two hours time after a one hour and 20 minute postponement due to thunderstorms. But with the game dead-locked at a 0-0 stalemate heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, the heavens opened up again preventing Cincinnati from trying to win the game by plating a solitary run.
At 5:30 tonight, the game will be picked up right where it left off with Cincinnati taking to the plate to start the bottom of the ninth. This resumed game provides baseball fans with an extremely rare viewing opportunity.
The Reds will open play with the first at-bat at home. That, in and of itself, is a rarity. To add to the intrigue and drama, the bottom of the ninth will present a sudden death-like opportunity. If Cincinnati scores in the opening frame, they win, and Philadelphia will not get an opportunity of an at bat to try and match their run.
We cannot recall the last time that a tied game was suspended in the middle of the ninth so as to afford the home team a full inning to score, win and go home. And the Reds have a good chance of doing just that.
Cincinnati will be sending their two, three and four hitters to the plate – shortstop Zack Cozart, first baseman Joey Votto and second baseman Brandon Phillips.
Phillies reliever Phillippe Aumont will be forced into the service of facing Cozart, at a minimum. That’s because Aumont was warming up on the mound to start the bottom of the ninth when the umpire crew called for the action to be delayed. Major league rules dictate that, because he was warming up, he must face at least one batter before he can be removed.
The third and final game of the Phillies-Reds series will be played after the conclusion of game two tonight, but will not start before 7:10 no matter how quickly last night’s contest is completed.