Phillies game starts on schedule after MLB postponed Nationals game due to air quality issues- Uncover Daily News

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The smoky haze that lingered over the Philadelphia area Thursday didn’t prevent the Phillies from taking the field.

After having Wednesday’s game postponed, the Phillies’ matchup against the Detroit Tigers began on time Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park. MLB closely monitored the air quality situation during the day, but as the air quality in Philadelphia improved, league officials decided to have the game go on.

“It’s always sunny in Philadelphia,” NBC Sports Philadelphia announcer John Kruk said at the start of Thursday’s broadcast.

MLB postponed one game Thursday — a matchup between the Washington Nationals and the Arizona Diamondbacks, which had been scheduled to begin at 1:05 p.m at Nationals Park. Air quality continued to be poor in Washington, D.C., which issued its first “code red” air quality alert since 2011.

The Nationals-Diamondbacks game will now take place June 22.

On Wednesday, in addition to pushing back the Phillies’ game, the league postponed a game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox that was scheduled to be played at Yankee Stadium, where the orange skies resembled a sci-fi movie.

» READ MORE: Philadelphia air quality: Maps, forecasts, and latest updates on cancellations

Philadelphia’s air quality Thursday morning was worse than Wednesday’s, though smoke from Canadian wildfires to dissipated some as the day goes on.

Prior to Wednesday’s game being postponed, Phillies outfielder Brandon Marsh told The Inquirer the hazy air didn’t have much impact on his at-bats or his ability to track balls. But he wasn’t able to see the upper deck of Citizens Bank Park while he was roaming the outfield.

“It was noticeably different out there,” Marsh said. “It felt like Gotham. It was dark. The lights really couldn’t do their job.”

» READ MORE: Phillies on playing in a smoke-filled ballpark: ‘It started smelling like a fire’

In addition to speaking with medical and weather experts, MLB was also in communication with the clubs impacted by the Canadian wildfire smoke. On Wednesday, Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski sided with health experts.

“I don’t know anything about air quality,” Dombrowski said. “I’m not an expert on it. So I have to look at how other people guide us, and it was a situation where MLB and the experts feel it has now reached a point where it’s unhealthy for people to be outside. So we’ll go along with what they say.”



Detroit News sportswriter Chris McCosky packs up after Wednesday’s Phillies-Tigers game was postponed. . … Read moreElizabeth Robertson / Staff Photographer

If MLB had decided to postpone Thursday’s game, the Phillies wouldn’t have had room on their upcoming schedule to make it up. On Friday they’re scheduled to begin a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, followed immediately by a four-game road trip against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Phillies next scheduled day off isn’t until June 19.

The first game of a Yankees-White Sox doubleheader at Yankees Stadium started on time at 4:05 p.m. New York City’s air quality was better than Philadelphia’s for much of Thursday, but was still listed in the “unhealthy” range.

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