When a baseball game is delayed, it’s usually due to bad weather. Playing in a retractable stadium like Minute Maid Park in Houston usually helps eliminate almost any delay.
But fans who had been watching the Astros host the Red Sox in Game 2 of the ALCS on Saturday had to wait nearly 15 minutes for the game to resume after being halted at the top of the second half.
The delay started when Astros coach Dusty Becker came out to the pile to take the ball from star star Luis Garcia. Jake Odorizzi came in relief.
MORE: Dusty Baker interacts with Kiké Hernández’s Game 1 during the interview
But if it was just a promotional change, why did it take so long?
Why is the Red Sox-Astros game delayed?
Usually when a pitch change is made, the damper only has a certain amount of time to get ready.
When the game is broadcast locally, shooters have 2 minutes and 5 seconds to get ready, According to MLB rules. That number rises to 2 minutes and 25 seconds for televised regular season matches and 2 minutes and 55 seconds for post-season and tiebreak matches.
MORE: Takeaway Astros-Red Sox ALCS Game 1
The timer starts when the end of the game is scored, with only a few exceptions, none of which have been applied in this case.
The biggest exception to the rule is in the case of injury replacement. It was later reported that Garcia was removed from the match due to knee pain. The MLB rules state that if a bowler enters a game after another sending off for injury, he is “granted as many warm-up courts as the referee allows.”
Baker had hoped to bring in a jug capable of giving him a starting workload or a long savior. According to The Complete PitcherNovice shooters usually like to take about 20 minutes to warm up before a match. This includes several minutes of sprinting and stretching, about 15 minutes of throwing and a few minutes of rest before heading out to the pile.
MORE: 2021 MLB Match Schedule
Now, look at the case of Odorizzi. He’s rested only four times in 220 major league games (he started once in the 2019 post-season). He was added to the Astros’ ALCS roster after being excluded from their ALDS roster.
The last time Odorizzi threw a competitive field for Houston was on October 2, exactly two weeks ago, when he went 4 2/3 innings against athletics.
Odorizzi would have needed a lot of time to lose, especially since he wasn’t used to being summoned at the moment.
The Red Sox did not give him a warm welcome. He served singles for two of his first three hits before Raphael Devers crashed into the Red Sox’s second major in two rounds. Two rounds later, Kiké Hernandez continued his hot hit with a single shot from Odorizzi to extend Boston’s lead to 9-0.