Phillies vs Pirates weather update: Could rain play a factor in the series opener?

The Phillies could find themselves dealing with more wet weather in the series opener versus the Pirates.
The Philadelphia Phillies-Pittsburgh Pirates game on Thursday could face weather delays
The Philadelphia Phillies-Pittsburgh Pirates game on Thursday could face weather delays / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

After dealing with rain during their first homestand and then playing through wet conditions in their series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday afternoon, the Philadelphia Phillies are staring down another possible weather delay as they prepare to kick off the second homestand of the 2024 season — and if not, they'll be playing in less-than-ideal conditions again tonight.

While Thursday's forecast has improved from 24 hours ago, there's still a chance of rain in the Philadelphia area (again), and the first game of the four-game series at Citizens Bank Park against the red-hot Pittsburgh Pirates could be impacted.

Our friends at The Weather Channel are calling for a 19 percent chance of rain at 6:00 p.m., a 35 percent chance at 7:00 p.m., and 40 percent at 8:00 p.m. That's not nearly as bad as the 90 percent originally forecasted.

Whether it happens on Thursday or we get delays, the Phillies' first game against the NL Central-leading Pirates looks like a great pitching matchup, with Ranger Suárez facing rookie Jared Jones. The Pirates' No. 3 prospect, and MLB Pipeline's No. 57 prospect, has 17 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings this season. Suárez has a 4.03 ERA but a 0.73 WHIP with 11 strikeouts to only one walk in his 11 innings in 2024.

Rehabbing Phillies pitchers also affected by rain

The Phillies-Pirates game isn't the only Phillies-related baseball activity affected by the weather.

As The Philadelphia Inquirer's Scott Lauber reported on Wednesday, both Taijuan Walker and Orion Kerkering are being sent to Clearwater, Florida, to make their minor-league rehab appearances. They were scheduled to pitch with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, but Mother Nature had other plans for some wet weather in Allentown.

Kerkering will make his final rehab appearance before joining the Phillies on the weekend, while Walker is just beginning his build-up after dealing with a shoulder impingement late in spring training.