SEATTLE — Monday’s doubleheader between the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners was played with a haze of smoke hovering above the field at T-Mobile Park, even with the retractable roof of the stadium closed.
Wildfires on the West Coast have suffocated much of the Pacific Northwest with unhealthy air conditions that brought into question whether the games would even be played. The air quality index in the Seattle area surpassed 200 on Monday, a number considered “very unhealthy.”
“No one said a word,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “I heard 200 was the cutoff level to start and my understanding is it was way over that, both games.”
Melvin said several players were complaining during the second game about how bad the air was on the field.
“I’m a healthy 22-year-old. I shouldn’t be gasping for air or missing oxygen. I’ll leave it at that,” Oakland’s Game 1 starter Jesus Luzardo said.
A’s reliever Jake Diekman asked MLB what the “cut off for air quality” was in a tweet after the game, and Game 2 starter Mike Minor said he could smell the smoke on the field.
“And then as you got going [I] didn’t really notice it,” Minor said. “Got into game mode, I guess. I didn’t really have that long [of] innings. I felt like they were pretty smooth. But I know a lot of the other guys were talking about it, saying how difficult it was.”
The doubleheader was a makeup of three games scheduled for earlier this month that were postponed after the A’s saw a player test positive for the coronavirus. The third of the three games to be made up will take place on Sept. 26 at Oakland as part of another doubleheader.
“I think it was OK breathing, but we definitely noticed it,” Seattle center fielder Kyle Lewis said. “The sky was all foggy and smoky, it definitely wasn’t a normal situation, definitely a little weird.”
Seattle took Monday’s opener 6-5, rallying from a 5-0 deficit, before Oakland won 9-0 in the nightcap.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.