ST. LOUIS>> The Texas Rangers took 40 seasons to reach this position. After such a long climb, they were ready to wait one more day for a chance to win their first World Series title.
Game 6 was postponed Wednesday because of a wet forecast, delaying their bid to win the championship. Ahead 3-2, they can close out the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.
"It’s just a rainout, that’s it," said Texas star Michael Young, in his 12th year with the team. "I don’t know if people think we’re going to sit in our hotel rooms all night biting our nails. We’re going to get something to eat, get some rest and be ready to go."
Both clubs pushed back their starters by a day. Colby Lewis is set to pitch against the Cardinals’ Jaime Garcia. It’s likely to be clear with temperatures in the low 50s at Busch Stadium.
If there’s a Game 7 Friday night, it’ll be Matt Harrison for Texas against, well, no telling. St. Louis manager Tony La Russa playfully mentioned the great Bob Gibson, now a robust 75, but ace Chris Carpenter on three days’ rest looms as a possibility.
"It’s already been asked about Carp," La Russa said. "I was told by Carp that he would be ready to go."
The postponement came after a travel day for the teams. This two-day gap is the longest at the World Series since 1989, when the Bay Area earthquake left the Athletics and Giants idle for 11 days.
"We’re not getting antsy, we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We just have to wait," Texas manager Ron Washington said.
After a damp season and postseason, Major League Baseball announced the decision about 4½ hours before the scheduled first pitch. At the time, no drops had fallen at the ballpark.
"I’m not even sure why they canceled it," Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman said. "This is better than the weather for Game 1. I guess I’m going to lie back on the couch like a big, fat pig and watch a movie."
Maybe Berkman could’ve joined La Russa. The Cardinals manager planned to go see "Moneyball."
By late afternoon, a light mist turned to drizzle and then to steady rain.
This was the first Series washout since 2008 at Philadelphia. That year, Tampa Bay and the Phillies were tied in the sixth inning when rain and snow turned the field into a quagmire, forcing a suspension. It rained the next day, too, and the game finally resumed two days later, with the Phillies winning to take the crown.
Because of the debate about how to handle that situation MLB adopted a rule a few months later mandating that any postseason game stopped in progress would be resumed at the point of suspension, rather than being postponed and starting over.
This marked the latest rainout at a Series since 1986, when Game 7 between the Red Sox and Mets was pushed back by a day.
MLB executive Joe Torre said he alerted Washington and La Russa on Tuesday that a postponement was possible.
Rain was in "every forecast we had probably for the last three days," Torre said at a news conference. "They were all consistent there was going to be rain during the game."
Looking at Commissioner Bud Selig, Torre asked: "Do you want to play in rain?"
During the AL championship series, a game between Detroit and the Rangers in Texas was called because of predicted showers that never arrived. This time, they came.
Busch Stadium has had weather woes in the past. In 2006, Game 4 between Detroit and the Cardinals was called.
Rain has hovered over the majors all year with more than 50 washouts, baseball’s highest total since 1997. The bad weather actually started before opening day, as the Milwaukee Brewers and Reds worked out in snow flurries on March 31.
Wicked weather intruded earlier in this postseason, too.
The opener of the AL playoff series between Detroit and New York was halted after 1½ innings by showers that lasted all night. The game at Yankee Stadium was suspended and picked up the next day at the point when it was stopped.
The only other suspension in postseason history was that Rays-Phillies game in 2008.
Baseball began the playoffs a week earlier this year than last season, intending to have the World Series conclude before November. MLB also hoped the adjustment could help avoid a chilly finish for the championship. It was in the 40s and raw last week for Game 1.
It was in the 70s and clear at Busch Stadium on Tuesday. A perfect night to play, but it was a travel day for Texas and St. Louis.
Banged-up Texas star Josh Hamilton took the rainout in stride.
"You don’t have to get worked up, hyped up to get into game mode and then shut it down," he said. "We know early, so we’re able to come out here, get some swings in the cage, throw a bit. And it’s smart for the pitchers, too, they don’t have to get up, get going, have a rain delay, sit down."