CLEVELAND -- With rain in the forecast for northeastern Ohio tonight, Major League Baseball has bumped up the scheduled first pitch of Game 2 of the World Series to 7 p.m. ET, one hour earlier than the original start.
Gates at Progressive Field will open at 4:30 p.m. ET.
• Game 2: Tonight, 7 p.m. ET game time on FOX (6 p.m. ET pregame show on FS1)
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Following Tuesday's 6-0 Cleveland win in Game 1, the forecast for Game 2 was projected to worsen as Wednesday progressed, according to weather.com. Cloudy conditions are expected to move in between the hours of 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., with a 45 percent chance of showers beginning at 9.
The chance for showers increases slowly over the next hour, with heavier rain expected to move in around 11. Rain could linger in the area until after 2 a.m. Thursday.
World Series umpiring crew chief John Hirschbeck said the time change was the first of its kind during his tenure, but the right call under the circumstances.
"Definitely as long as I have been around, it's unprecedented, but I think it was a very smart decision by the Commissioner," Hirschbeck said during an UMPS Care charity event Wednesday at Cleveland Clinic Children's. "Fortunately, FOX worked with them so that they could move the game time up, if it's going to avoid a long rain delay. Technology is so good today, even us as umpires, we look like geniuses on the field because of the radar and everything we have during the game. I think it's a smart decision."
As for tonight's outlook, Hirschbeck said, "When it comes to rain and being the crew chief, you don't worry about what you can't control. We'll just let it happen. And when it does, we'll deal with it."
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Major League Baseball announced the time change in the middle of Game 1. That's when Cubs manager Joe Maddon found out.
"We went out for that pitching change [in the sixth inning], and [Anthony] Rizzo said, 'Hey, look at the scoreboard, the game's been moved up an hour,'" Maddon said. "So that's when I realized it had been moved up an hour, on the mound."
Jake Arrieta is scheduled to start for the Cubs against the Indians' Trevor Bauer. Thursday is a scheduled travel day and could serve as a makeup day if needed. The Series resumes on Friday night at Chicago's Wrigley Field.
• Arrieta-Bauer showdown on tap for Game 2
Neither manager was fazed by the time change. Maddon applauded the cautionary move, calling it a "good idea," and Indians skipper Terry Francona sounded unconcerned.
"I'm sure they have good reason," Francona said. "If it's supposed to rain late, I don't really have a reaction. I'm going to be here anyway by 10, so it doesn't really matter."