Cubs, Braves upset Saturday wasn't canceled: It 'should not have been played'
If you enjoy zany baseball, Saturday's contest between the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field - a 14-10 Cubs victory that was played in awful weather conditions - was fantastic entertainment, a theater for the absurd.
Wrigley became a madhouse, as the Braves jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead only to give up 12 unanswered Cubs runs - including nine in an eighth-inning rally that was pure mishigas.
But neither team is smiling after playing through the storm.
Conditions in Chicago on Saturday were far from ideal baseball weather. First pitch was thrown at a temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit, it was raining, and fierce 24-mph winds tore through the ballpark throughout the game.
"I give both teams a lot of credit under the circumstances, because that game should not have been played," Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters, including David Just of the Chicago Sun-Times, after the game.
"I thought the 2008 World Series was the worst weather game I ever participated in," he continued. "I think it just got surpassed. That's not baseball weather. The elements were horrific to play baseball. It's not conducive."
Braves manager Brian Snitker echoed the sentiment, saying, "It got to the point where I was worried about the infielders catching the ball because I was afraid they couldn’t get it across the diamond," per David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I mean, they literally froze up. You just don't want anybody to tear their shoulder up or anything like that."
The players were just as perplexed. Braves All-Star Freddie Freeman said fielders "couldn't even grip the ball to do anything," while Cubs reliever Eddie Butler - who allowed three runs in 3 2/3 innings - said he wasn't able to control his pitches.
Bad weather across the Midwest has wreaked havoc on baseball's schedule this weekend. Games in Detroit, Cleveland, and Minnesota were all canceled on Saturday, while Sunday contests in Cleveland and Minnesota also got called.
It's unknown as to why Saturday's Cubs-Braves game wasn't postponed, but one possible explanation is that the Braves don't visit Chicago again this season. If Saturday was canceled, they would have to make up the contest on a mutual off-day and alter travel schedules.
"Clearly they didn't want us to have to come back on an off day, so we played through that (expletive)," said Braves pitcher Peter Moylan.
While the teams were hoping to get Sunday's game in, the Cubs postponed the series finale to May 14 amid more heavy rain in Chicago and a forecast that's predicting even colder temperatures. According to The Weather Network, it will be 37 degrees on Sunday afternoon with a 90-percent chance of rain.
"If it's as cold (Sunday) as it was the last two innings ... I don't think you can make it a full nine innings like that," reliever Luke Jackson said postgame, shortly before the Braves designated him for assignment on Sunday morning. "And tomorrow it's supposed to be the same way? If we all don't come out of here with pneumonia I think we'll be alright."
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