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Wet outfield forces Angels’ 2nd home rainout since 1995

Members of the grounds crew attempt to clear off standing water in the outfield prior to Wednesday’s scheduled game between the Angels of Anaheim and the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium. Due to standing water, the game was rescheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 22: Groundcrew attempt to clear off standing water in the outfield prior to a game between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 22, 2019 in Anaheim, California. Due to standing water, the game was rescheduled for May 23, 2019. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sound The gallery will resume in seconds ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 22: Groundcrew attempt to clear off standing water in the outfield prior to a game between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 22, 2019 in Anaheim, California. Due to standing water, the game was rescheduled for May 23, 2019. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 22: Groundcrew attempt to clear off standing water in the outfield prior to a game between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 22, 2019 in Anaheim, California. Due to standing water, the game was rescheduled for May 23, 2019. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Members of the grounds crew attempt to clear off standing water in the outfield prior to Wednesday’s scheduled game between the Angels of Anaheim and the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium. Due to standing water, the game was rescheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 22: Umpire Gary Cederstrom #38 inspects the field prior to a game between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 22, 2019 in Anaheim, California. The game was cancelled due to standing water after heavy rain. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 22: Groundcrew attempt to clear off standing water in the outfield prior to a game between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 22, 2019 in Anaheim, California. Due to standing water, the game was rescheduled for May 23, 2019. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 22: Groundcrew attempt to clear off standing water in the outfield prior to a game between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 22, 2019 in Anaheim, California. Due to standing water, the game was rescheduled for May 23, 2019. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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ANAHEIM — The rain let up about an hour before the scheduled first pitch Wednesday night. The skies cleared, the tarp covering the infield was removed, and the Angel Stadium grounds crew began to ready a rain-drenched outfield for nine innings of baseball.
The field was never ready.
At 6:45 p.m., after plenty of deliberation among umpires and officials from both teams, the Angels and Twins announced the finale of their three-game series had been postponed. It will be played at 1 p.m. Thursday, previously scheduled as a day off for both teams.
“There was just too much water in the outfield,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “As they moved the water around, it seems to disappear. You don’t see the puddling but when you stepped on it, it would just come up around your shoe.”
Fans who had a ticket to Wednesday’s game can present it Thursday for valid admission. Refunds and exchanges are available through the Angels too, but only for tickets purchased through the team’s box office, website, or sales department.
Wednesday’s scheduled starters, Matt Harvey and Martin Perez, will start Thursday for the Angels and Twins, respectively.
It is only the 12th rain-delayed game in Angel Stadium history, and just the second time the Angels have had to postpone a home game due to weather since June of 1995. The last was July 19, 2015 against the Boston Red Sox. That rainout was the first since June 16, 1995 (against the Chicago White Sox) and snapped a streak of 1,609 consecutive home games for the Angels without a rainout.
The Angels have now had 17 rainouts at home in franchise history: 12 at Angel Stadium and five at Dodger Stadium. The Angels’ first home rainout was on April 14, 1963 at Dodger Stadium, against the White Sox on Easter Sunday.
A steady rain with occasional thunderstorms soaked Anaheim for approximately two hours Wednesday afternoon. The Angels promptly cancelled their outdoor batting practice. By approximately 5 p.m., the storm had passed, leaving an hour to prepare for a 6:07 p.m. first pitch.
The infield looked perfectly playable. It had been covered by a large plastic tarp all afternoon. The outfield was a different matter.
Ausmus said postponing the game until later Wednesday night was not an option. Once the sun set at 7:49 p.m., the water couldn’t evaporate quickly on its own. The field’s drainage system was effectively non-existent, and there was simply too much water for the subterranean soil to absorb in any reasonable amount of time.
“I couldn’t imagine to field a ball coming through that water, picking it up soaking wet and trying to make a throw to a base, never mind what could happen if your cleats didn’t catch,” Ausmus said.
The grounds crew emerged with rakes in hand, the strategic equivalent of bringing knives to a gunfight. Ausmus said a couple pumps were deployed too. Scooping up the water with small cups was more comical than effective.
The umpires – Marvin Hudson, Adrian Johnson, Quinn Wolcott, Gary Cederstrom – convened on the outfield grass. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli joined them. After a confab with Ausmus and Angels president John Carpino among others, the decision was made official.
By playing Thursday, the Angels must now play 20 consecutive games without a day off. Their next scheduled day off is June 12.
After Thursday’s game, the Twins will fly back to Minneapolis for a home game Friday.
“We’re certainly aware that they have to go through two time zones, but we have to go through a few time zones to go to Chicago for one game, so it happens,” Ausmus said.
Baldelli sounded more amenable to playing Wednesday night.
“I think it was one of those circumstances where we play in tough weather a lot and have probably played in circumstances similar,” he told reporters. “It’s all opinion-based at one point or another. I feel good we took the time talking and the grounds crew worked hard to get it as playable. I can’t say I concurred but it’s not always the easiest call in situations like this. We probably played a few games this year similar to what we would have been playing on in the outfield. Everyone can make their own call at that point.”
One party that didn’t have much say in the decision: the players.
“The disappointment in it is that I don’t think that anybody was involved in the conversation before it happened,” said Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson, the team’s union representative. “It was just announced that we were going to have a game (Thursday), and I think they were just assuming that we were going to find the make-up day another time. … I don’t think they got the player consent before they scheduled the game, and that’s where the players are not very happy.”
Gibson told reporters he had a chance to speak to Andrew Heaney, Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun and Jonathan Lucroy about the decision.
“They weren’t being rude about it, obviously. They just said, ‘Hey, we’re about ready to do the same thing’,” – referring to a lack of off-days in the near future – “so I think everybody would like to have their off-day tomorrow.”

You’re looking live at a game that was just rained out.
Many fans aren’t leaving.
They’re hosing down a field that experienced two hours of rainfall this afternoon.
The skies are perfectly clear. pic.twitter.com/Mzd96bZvNO
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) May 23, 2019

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