SEATTLE – Monday’s doublehead between the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners was played with a fog of smoke hovering over the track at T-Mobile Park, even with the stadium’s retractable roof closed.
Forest fires on the west coast have suffocated much of the Pacific Northwest with unhealthy air conditions that questioned whether the games would be played at all. The air quality index in the Seattle area exceeded 200 on Monday, a number considered “very unhealthy.”
“Nobody said a word,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “I heard that 200 was the starting level to start, and my understanding is that it was far above that, both games.”
Melvin said several players complained during the second game about how bad the air was on the field.
“I’m a healthy 22-year-old. I should not gasp for air or lack oxygen. I let it be,” said Oaklands Game 1 starter Jesus Luzardo.
A’s reliever Jake Diekman asked MLB what “cut off for air quality” was in a tweet after the game, and Game 2 starter Mike Minor said he could smell smoke on the court.
“And so as you got started [I] did not notice it properly, “said Minors.” I got into game mode. I did not really have that long [of] innings. I felt like they were pretty slippery. But I know a lot of the other guys talked about it and said how hard it was. ”
The double-headed was a combination of three games scheduled for earlier this month, which were postponed after the A’s saw a player test positive for coronavirus. The third of the three games to be put together takes place on September 26 in Oakland as part of another double-header.
“I think it was ok breathing, but we definitely noticed it,” said Seattle midfielder Kyle Lewis. “The sky was foggy and smoky. It was certainly not a normal situation, certainly a little strange.”
Seattle took Monday’s opener 6-5, rallying from a 5-0 deficit before Oakland won 9-0 in the night cap.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.