NLCS expected to wrap up despite rain in forecast

NLCS expected to wrap up despite rain in forecast

SAN FRANCISCO -- For what it's worth, Katy Feeney -- Major League Baseball senior vice president of scheduling and club relations -- wasn't sweating the ominous weather forecast for the Bay Area on Monday, when the Cardinals and Giants will try to play Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.

The National Weather Service was calling for rain showers to develop in San Francisco overnight Sunday, with a 90 percent chance of rain during the day Monday and tapering off toward the evening hours. The Giants' Matt Cain is scheduled to throw his first pitch just after 5 p.m. PT (8 ET) on FOX.

"They will try everything to play this game," Feeney said. "It would have to be a pretty torrential and long-term rain to affect us. You would almost have to have hurricane weather."

NLCS

MLB controls decisions about weather-related issues during the postseason, and Joe Torre, executive vice president for on-field operations, is on site at San Francisco. Officials consider the forecast as well as the condition of the field in making the call.

The latter consideration is much less of an issue these days, given the tremendous improvements in drainage systems that have accompanied new ballparks across the game.

Rain already has impacted this NLCS. Game 3 in St. Louis was interrupted for nearly 3 1/2 hours in the seventh inning by a wave of storms.

Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse will not be surprised if Mother Nature makes another appearance Monday.

"We have kind of a joke in the clubhouse -- it seems like probably 60 percent of my starts have rain in the forecast," he said. "It's not going to change anything. My last start against [the Giants], rain was in the forecast. Nothing really changes my approach or my mentality going into it. If it rains and we get delayed, I've got more time to hang out in the clubhouse. There's not a lot I can do about that."

If either starter -- Lohse for the Cardinals and Cain for the Giants -- sees his start interrupted by the weather, both teams have capable replacements in waiting. Tim Lincecum was available Sunday for the Giants, manager Bruce Bochy said, and Adam Wainwright will be available Monday for the Cardinals.

If the rain is worse than expected and Game 7 is pushed to Tuesday -- a scheduled workout day ahead of the World Series -- then the Cardinals could consider starting Wainwright, who delivered seven outstanding innings in Game 4 of this series on Thursday.

But that seems unlikely, considering Lohse was St. Louis' most consistent starting pitcher throughout the season and manager Mike Matheny's choice to start the Wild Card game against the Braves and Game 1 of this NLCS against the Giants.

Asked about the potential he'll pitch in Game 7, whether or not the weather plays a role, Wainwright said, "I'll be ready to cheer first, and hopefully they don't need me. I'd love to see Kyle go out there and dominate that game, and we have very capable relievers as it is.

"So I expect to not pitch [Monday], but I'll be ready if they need me."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.