UPDATE: The game got underway at 7:34 p.m. - a delay of 54 minutes.
The skies may not be clear right now, but the Twins’ intentions are: They’re going to play tonight. It’s currently raining at Target Field, but most forecasts show the rain ending within the next two hours. The scheduled 6:40 p.m. start against Toronto is probably out of the question, given the time the grounds crew will need to prepare the field, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jake Odorizzi throws tonight’s first pitch around 7:30 p.m.
There is plenty of motivation to get this game in. For one thing, both teams travel tomorrow night after the scheduled 12:10 series finale, the Twins to Baltimore and the Blue Jays to Oakland; playing a doubleheader tomorrow, even if it’s not a day-night split, still means the teams will probably arrive after midnight.
Rescheduling for later in the year isn’t an appetizing option, either, given how few days off remain on the Twins’ schedule over the next 23 weeks, and how much teams hate to return to a city for a one-game makeup. “We have a lot of months where we have two or three days off over the course of the month,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “To use those days as added games is something we’d prefer not to do.”
So the teams will wait out the rain, then hope to take the field in 45 degree weather in a few hours.
The early start tomorrow is a concern, Baldelli said. “The 12:10 start makes it difficult, as far as what’s the latest we want to start this game. I can’t necessarily answer that,” he said. “We do want to take into consideration guys playing on four or five hours of sleep if we start really late might also not be the best possible outcome. But we don’t have a ton of options here.”
They’ve done it before. On July 5, 2016, the Twins and A’s started a game at 9:52 p.m., and Minnesota’s 11-4 victory didn’t finish until 1 a.m., the latest in the stadium’s history. Those teams also had a noon start the next day, so it can be done.
Should the teams play, Nelson Cruz and C.J. Cron will be back in the lineup after sitting out most of Tuesday’s game. Here are the lineups for the game, whenever it gets played: