Giants-Pirates postponed by rain; poor forecast for Sunday

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PITTSBURGH (AP)—As they watched the snow and the postponements pile up in nearby Cleveland last weekend, the Pittsburgh Pirates were relieved they weren’t in the Indians’ predicament of having to make up a number of called-off games.

As of Sunday, they might be in a similar situation.

The San Francisco Giants-Pirates game scheduled for Saturday night was postponed by rain, and was rescheduled as part of a doubleheader starting at 1:35 p.m. Sunday—expected to be the worst day weather-wise of what has been a cold, dreary week in Pittsburgh.

The forecast calls for rain and snow showers and a high temperature of 42, and there was a strong sense among both teams Saturday night that the games would be called off. One to two inches of snow is expected Sunday, though it might not occur until evening.

The starting time is unusually late, given that the Giants are scheduled to fly to Colorado after the game. In the past, the Pirates have scheduled similar makeup doubleheaders as early as 12:05 p.m.

“Tomorrow (Sunday) doesn’t look good at all,” Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. “This is one of the tough things you deal with when you have a club from another division, and it’s one trip, and then you’ve got to figure out—if you’re not able to play baseball—what you’re going to do.”

Tracy, like others in baseball, can’t figure out why West Coast teams were sent to the East Cost so early in the season, when there always is a possibility of bad weather. The Seattle Mariners lost five games to the weather during their recent Eastern swing, four in Cleveland and one in Boston.

This is the Giants’ only scheduled visit to PNC Park this season, and finding a makeup date later in the season might prove difficult because the teams share only three off days—July 30 and Sept. 13, when the Giants are on the West Coast both times, and Aug. 13, the day after the teams play in San Francisco.

“When they’re playing, we’re traveling, or vice versa,” Tracy said. “I don’t have any idea how this is going to work.”

Another possibility is July 12, the Thursday after the All-Star game, but the Giants would have to fly to Pittsburgh and then return immediately to the West Coast afterward. The teams could make up the games in San Francisco during the Pirates’ visit there Aug. 10-12, but that would cost the Pirates the revenue from two home games.

“It might end up coming to that,” Tracy said.

If the forecast does hold up and the doubleheader is played, the Giants’ Barry Zito (0-2) would start Game 1 against Ian Snell (0-1), with Matt Cain (0-1) opposing the Pirates’ Tony Armas (0-1) in the second game.

If the Giants are one and done on this trip to Pittsburgh—they won 8-5 on Friday night—it could mean that Barry Bonds might not play another game there. He broke into the majors with the Pirates in 1986 and played in Pittsburgh through 1992, winning two MVP awards and almost getting a third.

If so, Bonds left a lasting memory with his two home runs Friday, the 736th and 737th of his career—18 short of tying Hank Aaron’s career record.

“Will this be the final time?” Bonds said. “Who knows? It could be.”

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