Ahead of Tuesday evening's game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs, headlines had already been made by the nasty bout of weather rolling through the city of Chicago.
Due to the Canadian wildfires that have caused mass amounts of smoke to slowly inch its way from east to west in the United States, the air quality is dreadful in the Chicago area, leading to some not-so-fun playing conditions. As of all day Tuesday and the first half of Wednesday, the area is listed as the worst air quality in the entire country, with some outlets saying the world.
According to a piece penned by Patrick Mooney of The Athletic, multiple rounds of discussions were held on Tuesday that consisted of members from Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, including Cubs outfielder Ian Happ. The decision was made to play the game, despite the fact that visibility was poor and that participants on the field and in the stands could smell smoke throughout the entire contest.
Obviously, this is no the first time the Phillies have been stuck in the middle of this. Earlier this month, the club ran into similar issues in their series against the Tigers, with their game being postponed as well as others in the area like one in New York.
There are countless arguments to be made whether the Phillies and Cubs should even be able playing Wednesday's contest, but here we are: inching closer and closer to game time. The Phillies are set to send Aaron Nola to the mound while Drew Smyly is going to start the game for the Cubs.
On Tuesday, Philadelphia emerged victorious in 5-1 fashion, as Ranger Suárez and Brandon Marsh carried the team to an easy win against a Cubs team that is still in the hunt in the NL Central. Marsh hit two home runs while Suárez went 7.1 innings of one-run ball while striking out eight batters.
As of right now, the Phillies are 11.0 GB of the first-place Braves, who, naturally, are in the midst of a five-game win streak. Making up ground in the division is going to be a tall task for the Phillies, but it's one that they could conceivably come together down the stretch. As a last resort, the club is still very much in the hunt for an NL Wild Card spot, currently sitting 3.0 GB of a playoff spot.