Phillies-Tigers game is postponed due to air quality issues

Tribune Content Agency

Wednesday’s Phillies game against the Detroit Tigers at Citizens Bank Park has been postponed as smoke from Canadian wildfires continues to pollute the air in Philadelphia.

The game will be played at 6:05 p.m. Thursday. Major League Baseball had been monitoring the air quality throughout the day.

Both the Phillies and the Tigers had a scheduled off day on Thursday.

Philadelphia health officials have issued a “code red” air quality alert for Wednesday, and suggest residents avoid going outdoors. The air quality hasn’t been this unhealthy in Philadelphia since 2008, according to Environmental Protection Agency data dating back to 1999.

Fans in the stands Tuesday witnessed a hazy spectacle. Thompson said the prevailing winds blowing from the north and northwest might have impacted the team’s performance.

“We hit some balls hard. We could’ve had four or five homeruns if the win was blowing different directions,” Thompson said during an interview on 94.1 WIP’s morning show Wednesday.

Thompson, a native Canadian, said the haze from the smoke didn’t impact the players, and he personally didn’t smell anything. But he did have reporters laughing following the game when he learned where the smoke was coming from.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate, had one road game postponed and another rescheduled due to air quality concerns related to smoke.

The IronPigs were scheduled to face the Syracuse Mets at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse Wednesday at 11:05 a.m., but that game has been pushed back to 6:35 p.m, the team announced.

Tuesday’s game between the IronPigs and the Mets was called off less than a hour before the first pitch was set to be delivered.

MLB has two other games scheduled Wednesday in the Northeast, in areas where air quality has been impacted by wildfire smoke.

In New York, the Yankees were scheduled to take on the Chicago White Sox at 7:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium. That game was also postponed. Tuesday night, New York City’s air quality reached its worst levels since the 1960s, officials said, and warned residents to prepare for a “multiple-day event.”

In Washington, D.C., which issued its first “code red” air quality alert since 2011, the Nationals are scheduled to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks at 7:05 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are playing at home against the Oakland Athletics. Pittsburgh is also under a “code red” alert, but the afternoon smoke is forecast to be less severe than in Philadelphia, according to NOAA.

MLB has been forced to postpone games due to air quality issues in the past. In 2020, a two-game series between the Giants and Mariners was rescheduled and moved from Seattle to San Francisco due to air quality issues stemming from wildfires.