Rain, rain and more rain. Labor Day in the Steel City.

There are plenty of things that we can all agree didn’t exactly go swimmingly for the Astros this year, but there is one area where they’ve been incredibly lucky: the weather.

While Major League Baseball as a whole had close to a record-setting season when it comes to rain delays and postponements, the Astros have somehow dodged a bunch of bullets on that front. They’ve had a couple of short delays here and there but nothing of note, and as far as postponements, they’ve had to schedule only one all year.

I sense that is all about to change this week. If baseball truly is a law of averages and things really do even out in the end, this could be a doozy of a roadie for your Astros.

Bad weather has completely taken over the East Coast, including the Astros’ two destinations on this trip: Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. Judging from the radar screen, the Astros-Pirates series could be, and probably will be, affected. The rain that is falling on PNC Park is letting up somewhat, but isn’t supposed to really clear up until early evening, and the most up-to-date forecasts predict we’re in for the same rain tomorrow.

A few things can happen if they can’t get the game in today. They can schedule a double header to be paired with either Tuesday’s or Wednesday’s game, or they can reschedule the missed game for Thursday, which is currently a mutual off day for both teams. However, that contingency plan will infringe on the rule that states a team cannot play more than 20 consecutive games without a day off. Because the Pirates already sacrificed an off day last Thursday in order to make up a rainout with the Dodgers, they will hit the 20-game mark on Wednesday. In order to play this Thursday, the union would have to agree to it.

Doubleheaders in Pittsburgh are nothing new, especially to the Astros. I remember a five-or-so-year stretch where they played a doubleheader in Pittsburgh every September, to make up for the inevitable early-season rain out.

This will be the Astros’ final trip to Pittsburgh this season, obviously, so there’s no time to make it up later. Teams will do everything in their power to make up games that are rained out, but with rain expected all week and two clubs playing that have absolutely no playoff implications on the line, it’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out.

Of course, the best case scenario would be for the rain to bypass Pittsburgh all together (possible, but unlikely) or do its dumping before or after the games. In the Steel City, unfortunately, the worst case scenario is usually what we’re stuck with. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: As of 1:45 ET, the Astros-Pirates game is to begin at 2:30 ET.

____________

In the meantime, here are a couple of leftover pictures from the weekend at home that might be of interest:

Craig Biggio mingles with the good folks from the United States Navy before Sunday's game.

It was Dog Day at Minute Maid on Sunday. This big guy actually scared me a little. Maybe because he's the size of a horse.

Jason Castro with his fiancee Maris Pearlman and his dog, Rollie (named after Rollie Fingers)

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Questions? Email afooter@astros.com

2 Comments

Why would there have to be MLB approval to make up a game because of the 20 days in a row rule? Wouldn’t the rainout day be considered a day without a game?

Farmer, had the game been rained out yesterday that would not have been considered a day “off.” The players would have reported to the clubhouse three or four hours before the game as usual, would have been in uniform, taken batting practice in the indoor cages and prepared as if there was a game. And then they would have sat around the clubhouse for hours waiting either to play or for the game to be cancelled. Definitely not a day off in their eyes! Days off are mental days where you don’t have to do anything. And MLB wouldn’t have to approve — the players union would have to say yes to playing. I’m guessing it wouldn’t have. The Pirates have had an exhausting run lately. If there’s rain today, I’m guessing there will be a doublheader Wednesday before they’d agree to play Thursday. If it rains Wednesday however, they might not have a choice but to play Thursday.

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