Smoke from Canadian wildfires blanketed the Chicago skyline on Tuesday, begging questions about the potential postponement of the Chicago Cubs-Philadelphia Phillies bout at Wrigley Field.
The city’s air quality was deemed “very unhealthy," drawing concerns about the players, coaches and fans' safety for Tuesday's game. From the looks of it, however, it looks like the game will play.
"As of now, it looks like we're gonna play," skipper David Ross said pregame.
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"I was out walking around a little earlier today. It's not ideal, but there are probably some smarter people making decisions on that than me."
Ross said the MLB and MLBPA are running point on the decision. They are holding calls every hour on the hour with the Cubs about the status of the game. As of this writing, all signs point to the Cubs-Phillies game happening on Tuesday night.
From inside the clubhouse, the players don't seem overly concerned, or annoyed, by the status of the game.
"I think we're all just learning what that really means: the air quality numbers and things like that," Nico Hoerner said pregame. "Hopefully, we'll be alright."
A little over three hours before the first pitch, the Cubs released a starting lineup for Tuesday's game.
NBC Chicago meteorologist Pete Sack said there’s also plenty of time for the weather to improve.
“One of the difficulties that we do have with this, however, is accurately predicting the amount of smoke that's going to be in the atmosphere just a few hours from now,” Sack said. “So it could ease up in time for the game at 7:05 this evening. The atmosphere could ease up, but we could still see a layer of smoke and haze. So it remains to be seen.”
Earlier this month MLB postponed some games on the East Coast due to smoke from the Canadian wildfires. That included a White Sox game against the Yankees that was supposed to be played in New York on June 7. That game was made up the next day.
Chicago mayor Brandon Johnson released a statement as air quality worsened in the city recommending that children, teens, seniors, people with heart or lung disease, and pregnant women “avoid strenuous activities and limit their time outdoors." Johnson also suggested folks wear masks if they do need to go outside.
For all Chicago air quality updates, keep tabs on NBC Chicago’s live blog.