OAKLAND – Heavy rain throughout the afternoon left an awkward pregame routine for the Oakland A’s on Opening Night.
An hour or so before first pitch, it was still unknown if the 7:05 p.m. first pitch would happen, as the busiest people on the rain-soaked field were the groundskeepers.
Batting practice on the field was canceled for both the A’s and Cleveland Indians. Oakland’s pitchers took the field to stretch and play catch about 90 minutes later than scheduled, as hitters took their hacks in the indoor cages.
“It’s weird,” A’s reliever Dan Otero said. “Tommy (Milone) just came up to me and said ‘Opening Day, no batting practice?’. But I have a feeling once we get out on the line (for introductions), all those emotions are gonna come back.”
A’s manager Bob Melvin was holding out hope the game would get completed, because there’s indications the rain will return Tuesday. So if there’s a chance to squeeze in a ballgame, rest assured it’s going to happen.
If there was a rainout and a Tuesday doubleheader was scheduled, it will certainly put a strain on both teams’ pitching staffs. Most starters were stretched out well during spring training, but in April, pitchers typically aren’t running their pitch counts as high as they would in, say, June or July.
In the event of a doubleheader, the teams would be allowed to call up a 26th player from the minor leagues to provide more depth, an A’s front office official confirmed.
Regardless of how it plays out, the unorthodox pregame routine was tough to get used to for A’s reliever Luke Gregerson.
“It just sucks, just not being active,” Gregerson said. “You’re sitting around waiting for things to happen.”
And Otero pointed out another pitfall of the waiting game.
“You wind up eating a lot more than you should.”