After a controversial decision was made to play both games of the doubleheader against the A’s yesterday despite extremely poor air quality, the Mariners and Giants will not play tonight’s game at T-Mobile Park. (Please note the previous sentence contains an egregious yet unavoidable use of the passive voice. Who made this decision? The Mariners? MLB? Unfortunately, we don’t know the answer to that question. But you should definitely read this more in-depth examination of the decision to play yesterday.)
At the time of this writing (2 PM PT), the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Seattle is 249, or “Very Unhealthy Air Quality.” And despite what Scott Servais said after the game about the players being unaffected by the air quality, per Bob Nightengale (take with a grain of salt, because Bob), some Seattle players did complain:
The #SFGiants-#Mariners games are officially postponed because of poor air quality in Seattle, with those games now expected to be played at Oracle Park in San Francisco. The #Athletics and #Mariners voiced complaints Monday playing under those conditions— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 15, 2020
The Mariners issued a statement in which Team President Kevin Mather declared that the decision to move the series was due to air quality that has “gotten worse overnight” in the Seattle area.
Our two-game series vs. the Giants at @TMobilePark has been postponed due to poor air quality.— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) September 15, 2020
The games will be rescheduled for tomorrow and Thursday in San Francisco. Game times have not been determined.
Full Details: https://t.co/ENYroJ8a1x pic.twitter.com/qYXTylJ57l
However, that declaration doesn’t seem to track with the report from AirNow.gov, which shows the AQI at 222 at 2 PM yesterday, and 240—very close to what it is now—at the 5 PM start time for the second game of the doubleheader. The cutoff for “Very Unhealthy” is 200, so either reading is well over what is considered a safe threshold.
The Mariners and the Giants will fly to San Francisco to resume the series there. While California has also been affected by the smoke from the wildfires ravaging the West Coast, currently the AQI in San Francisco is 68, or “moderate” on the AQI. The games will likely be played Wednesday and Thursday (time TBD), eliminating both teams’ off days on Thursday, and then the Mariners will return to Seattle to host the Padres—if the air quality allows for it, or if MLB once again decides the games should be played anyway.