MOOSIC – A large area of rain and thunderstorms on the radar led to Monday night’s game at PNC Field to be postponed.
Instead of the RailRiders hosting Toledo, the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers on Monday, the teams will play a doubleheader today starting at 5:35 p.m.
Heavy rain pelted the field in the late afternoon. Then around game time the rain slowed down, but the tarp remained on the field.The cover came off but stayed in the outfield for about 45 minutes before it went back on and the game was officially postponed.
Taking the mound for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for tonight’s games will be a pair of right-handers in International League All-Star Chris Bootcheck (9-2, 3.40) and Michael Pineda (1-1, 5.02). The probable starters for the Mud Hens are two lefties in Blaine Hardy (2-0, 2.35) and Kyle Lobstein (2-1, 3.67).
This marks the tenth time this season the RailRiders have had a game affected by weather. The last time was on July 12 when a contest against Syracuse was suspended tied at 6-6 in extra innings.
Having a day off may help SWB, which enters today’s twinbill with three straight losses and has had a superb record in doubleheaders this season not losing any of the nine it has played. The RailRiders have won five doubleheaders and split the other four.
The RailRiders’ most recent doubleheader was a sweep of Buffalo on July 13. They are nearing must-win situations this season with just 43 games left on the schedule and a record of 49-52. The International League Wild Card winner the last seven seasons has averaged 80 wins. The RailRiders would have to finish 31-12 to get there this year. They are only three games out of the league’s last playoff spot, but are chasing five teams in front of them and another one, Columbus, just one game behind SWB.
In the division, the RailRiders began Monday seven games behind North Division leader Pawtucket in fifth place of the six-team division.
The Mud Hens begin today’s two games with a mark of 44-59, the worst record in the entire league. But they have won five of their last six games are 21-19 against the North Division this season, including a 13-7 mark on the road versus those foes. Toledo won three out of four games against the RailRiders during a series in Ohio in May.
Bootcheck was hit hard by the Mud Hens in his outing giving up eight runs in 3+ innings, but took a no-decision against the club he pitched for last season. Pineda has never faced Toledo.
The Mud Hens’ Hardy will make just his second start of the season for the club, while Lobstein will make his fifth appearance for the team since being promoted from Double-A Erie. Both will be seeing the RailRiders for the first time.