Philadelphia — About three hours before the game was supposed to start Wednesday, Akil Baddoo walked back into the clubhouse after being on the field.
“It’s bad,” he said.
“It” being the air quality in downtown Philadelphia. At 1:30 p.m., the city skyline was visible beyond Citizens Bank Park. By 2 p.m., it was completely shrouded by smog and smoke.
Thus, Major League Baseball postponed the finale of the Tigers-Phillies series, rescheduling the game for 6:05 p.m. Thursday — a previously scheduled off day for both teams.
The Air Quality Index at 4:30 p.m. was at 166. Anything over 150 is considered a health concern. In New York, where the Yankees-White Sox game was also postponed, the Air Quality Index was over 300. Anything over 350 is hazardous.
The bad air is a result of drifting smoke from massive wildfires in Canada.
In a statement from MLB: “These postponements were determined following conversations throughout the day with medical and weather experts and all of the impacted clubs regarding clearly hazardous air quality conditions in both cities.”
The smoke rolled in during the Tigers’ 1-0 loss Tuesday night.
“It just seemed like it was misty,” Baddoo said. “It wasn’t too bad.”
The smoke was twice as dense by Wednesday afternoon.
The Tigers are changing up their starting pitcher for the makeup. Lefty reliever Tyler Holton will begin the game. Rookie Reese Olson, who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning last week against the Chicago White Sox in his Major League debut, was the scheduled starter. Manager AJ Hinch, with the game postponed, canceled his pregame media session. The Phillies are still starting veteran right-hander Zack Wheeler.
We’re offering a great rate on digital subscriptions. Click here.