The Boston Red Sox are averaging 36,147 fans per game at Fenway Park this season, but it would be surprising if Fenway Park was even half full on Thursday.
The Royals are back in Boston for a baseball rarity: the completion of a game that started more than two weeks ago.
On Aug. 7, the Royals and Red Sox were tied 4-4 in the top of the 10th inning at Fenway Park when heavy rains forced the game to be suspended.
“This is a highly unique situation. ... We’ve done a lot weather-wise and had to scramble and be nimble with doubleheaders, short time frames between scheduled games and a doubleheader, but this one was new for us,” Red Sox chief operations officer Jonathan Gilula told the Boston Globe. “From the moment the (suspension) announcement was made it was like, ‘What can we do to maximize the number of bodies and people that would be able to come to Fenway Park?’ ”
Here is what you need to know about the resumption of Thursday’s game.
Time/TV/radio: The game restarts at 12:05 p.m., and will be on KCSP (610 AM), although there will be no pregame show, and Fox Sports Kansas City.
The situation: Josh Taylor had just come on to pitch for Boston and Royals catcher Meibrys Viloria worked the count to 2-1 when the game was stopped. That’s where it’ll be restarted. Theoretically, the game could end after four pitches (Royals’ three batters each make an out on one pitch and the Red Sox hit a homer) or continue for 10 or more innings.
Attendance plan: The Globe said the Red Sox are allowing anyone who is 18 or under to attend the game for free. All others can enter for a $5 donation to the Jimmy Fund. The Red Sox plan is to sell concessions at a discounted price.
The rosters: Billy Hamilton, who was designated for assignment last Friday and signed by the Braves, is due up third for the Royals in the bottom of the 10th inning. Hamilton, of course, won’t be summoned from Atlanta.
The Royals can have Alex Gordon, who didn’t start that day, as a pinch-hitter. They could also use Brett Phillips, who was recalled to take Hamilton’s spot on the roster last Friday. Anyone on the current roster can play in the game regardless of whether they were with the Royals on Aug. 7. The exceptions: starter Glenn Sparkman and relievers Tim Hill, Kevin McCarthy and Scott Barlow. All had exited the game and can’t pitch again.
Jake Newberry pitched the bottom of the ninth inning and could have pitched the 10th, but the Royals placed him on the Injured List on Thursday morning and recalled Kyle Zimmer. Still, Newberry could get the victory while on the Injured List. That might be a first.
On Aug. 9, Zimmer was sent to Triple-A Omaha, so it’s possible he could pitch in a game in which he was in the bullpen at the start, sent to Omaha and returned before it was finished. Strange, right?
Catcher Nick Dini and pitcher Jacob Barnes also can play in the game. Barnes pitched for Triple-A Omaha on Aug. 7 and if he gets into the resumed game, he technically will have pitched for both the Royals and Storm Chasers on that date. Phillips hit a three-run homer for the Storm Chasers on Aug. 7 and could play on both days, too. Those are more weird possibilities.
Historical precedence: On Aug. 31 2014, the Indians scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning at Kauffman Stadium. Bad weather forced the game to be suspended and it was completed on Sept. 22 ... in Cleveland. The Royals were there for the start of a series, so the game was finished with the Royals as the home team.
Terrance Gore stole a base and scored a run, but the Indians won 4-3. Gore’s stats are part of the Aug. 31 game, even though he wasn’t called up to the Royals until Sept. 1.
The most famous case was the Pine Tar Game, which the Yankees thought they had won after the umpires rule the bat George Brett used to hit a home run was illegal. Instead the Royals won a protest and the July 24, 1983 game was suspended. On what was supposed to be an off day, the Royals traveled back to New York to finish the game on Aug. 18. The Royals won 5-4.
Another possible oddity: Third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert is hitless in his last 38 at-bats. If he gets a hit Thursday, it would count in the game on Aug. 7. But his hitless streak would be over. We think.