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Unhealthy air ravages MLB’s West pod

Colorado Rockies news and links for Tuesday, September 15, 2020

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Wildfires continue to devastate the Western United States, with poor air quality accompanying the harsh blazes. MLB’s West schedule has faced associated safety concerns, but with 13 days remaining in the regular season, little time remains to reschedule games.

The Athletics took on the Mariners on Monday—twice—amidst harsh Seattle air quality. People in the area were advised by medical personnel to limit their outdoor air exposure.

The A’s and M’s stayed inside, but the retractable roof didn't appear to do much:

Athletics pitcher Jesus Luzardo voiced his discontentment on Monday: “When I came out [the Air Quality Index] was at 284. I’m a healthy 22 year old. I shouldn’t be gasping for air, or missing oxygen when I’m getting to the line. I’ll leave it at that.” Oakland and Seattle went on to complete both games of their doubleheader.

(Air Quality Index is abbreviated ‘AQI’: 0-50 is considered ‘good’ while 51-100 is ‘moderate.’)

The A’s will receive at least some form of relief over their next two games, as the air quality in Denver is projected to be far more accommodating than what they dealt with in Oakland and Seattle. Over the past week, California was hit with “some of the worst air quality in the world.”

Tonight will be the fourth game in a timely nine-game homestead for the Rockies.

Colorado has also seen poor air quality levels this summer, with similar advisements to limit outdoor exposure when quality is poor. A handful of fires persist in western parts of the state.

The National Football League says they will reschedule or relocate games if the anticipated Air Quality Index exceeds 200. The San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals sat just below the threshold for their Sunday matchup in Santa Clara, California. The NFL was reportedly monitoring the levels in the Los Angeles area as well, with the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams playing Sunday night in neighboring Inglewood.

Colorado will visit San Francisco for a four-game set starting next Monday; the projected air quality in the Bay Area this week looks far more accommodating than last week.

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How the Rockies went from red hot to fading out of the MLB playoff picture | The Denver Post ($)

The Rockies’ playoff hopes are, technically, still alive, though FanGraphs gives them only a 16.7% chance of being one of eight National League teams to qualify.

Patrick Saunders includes a quote from Tony Wolters in this writeup: “I’m really excited and I feel like we are in a good spot. Everyone, our whole team, I feel, is together.” Saunders further discusses the home stretch for the Rockies, and how Colorado’s lack of clutch hitting has slowed their progress after a “magical” 11-3 start.

Report: MLB to ban alcohol from postseason celebrations in 2020 | Yahoo! Sports

2020: the year of the uncommon celebration.

Colorado Rockies: Daniel Bard should be NL Comeback Player of the Year | RoxPile

Kevin Henry of RoxPile writes how Daniel Bard is worthy of the 2020 NL Comeback Player of the Year. Bard’s comeback story is one for the ages; prior to this year, he hadn’t played in the bigs since 2013. His performance this year has propelled him to the top of the Rockies bullpen.

The honor is awarded in both the AL and NL annually. The last Rockie to receive the award was Greg Holland in 2017.

MLB Power Rankings: The biggest 2020 surprise on all 30 teams | ESPN

The Rockies fell from 17th to 20th in ESPN’s weekly power rankings. Of the teams currently in the NL wild card hunt, the Giants rank 15th, the Brewers rank 18th, and the Marlins rank 19th. Miami has also overtaken Philadelphia for second place in the NL East; the Phillies currently rank 13th.

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