Colorado Rockies vs. Cincinnati Reds: Weather updates

The Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds have had the second game of their three-game series at Coors Field delayed by weather in the downtown Denver area.

Just after the National Anthem, the Colorado Rockies announced that the start of the game would be delayed because of lightning in the area. The upper deck, Rockpile and upper Rooftop areas were cleared because of the lightning. Players from both teams returned to the locker room and the dugouts sat empty.

Radar showed on the Colorado big screen showed plenty of storms surrounding the downtown Denver area. Despite no rain falling at Coors Field, the game was put in a delay.

The delay put a pause of the return of Kyle Freeland to the mound for the first time since May 30. Freeland’s 7.13 ERA and first 12 starts of the season caused enough concern that the Rockies sent him to Triple-A to work on his mechanics and mindset. Freeland was activated before Saturday’s game as Pat Valaika was returned to Triple-A.

Colorado won the first game of the series on Friday night thanks in part to eighth-inning home runs from Daniel Murphy and David Dahl as well as a solid start from Jon Gray. The win kicked off a crucial seven-game homestand to start the second half of the season, with the Rockies facing the Reds and San Francisco Giants.

We are in the Coors Field press box and will give you the latest information regarding the weather and the delay. Please hit refresh often to get the latest information. All times listed below are in local (Mountain) time.

6:13 p.m. — Crowds continue to filter out of the upper areas of Coors Field as the lightning delay continue to be in effect.

6:18 p.m. — Weather radar shows a storm moving into the downtown Denver area from the south. Still no rain falling at Coors Field.

6:21 p.m. — Wind has changed direction slightly. Still no rain or update on the delay.

6:23 p.m. — No movement from the grounds crew on getting a tarp ready but radar shows storms still building from the south.

6:26 p.m. — Rain-themed delay music in full swing here at Coors Field but still no rain falling.

6:31 p.m. — Seemingly getting a little darker here at 20th and Blake. Plenty of dark clouds above.

6:34 p.m. — Grounds crew is getting the tarp ready to put on the field.

6:36 p.m. — Fans are leaving their seats. If the radar is to be believed, we are getting ready for some heavy rain here at Coors Field.

6:38 p.m. — Thunder, lightning and cooler temps suddenly. Uh oh. Tarp is on the field. Just said hail may be coming as well.

6:40 p.m. — Still no rain falling but that may be very short-lived. Sandbags going on the tarp to keep it in place.

6:42 p.m. — Big bolt of lightning just drew some oohs and ahs from the crowd, which is slowly moving back into the sheltered areas of the stadium.

6:44 p.m. — From the Rockies Twitter account…

6:46 p.m. — Reds have completely emptied their bullpen. No players left anywhere on the field as thunder continues to rumble.

6:50 p.m. — Rain is starting to fall at 20th and Blake.

6:51 p.m. — And, suddenly, it’s a downpour.

6:54 p.m. — A few hearty fans remain in the stands with umbrella as heavy rain continues to fall. No hail yet. Car owners are thankful for that.

6:56 p.m. — They are playing “Baby Shark” over the loudspeakers. Hell’s portals have opened.

7 p.m. — And here’s what my press box neighbor has done with her time during the delay…

7:01 p.m. — Rain coming down and big bolt of lightning seen just beyond the scoreboard.

7:04 p.m. — Heavy rain still coming down. Radar shows plenty of green left in the downtown Denver area.

7:09 p.m. — Little change. Rain, lightning and thunder dominating the evening at the moment.

7:14 p.m. — One thing to consider is that the Rockies already have a double header with the Giants scheduled for Monday. Last thing they want is to play two tomorrow against the Reds since this is Cincinnati’s only trip to Denver.

7:16 p.m. — Just had the biggest rumble of thunder and closest lightning of the night.

7:20 p.m. — Now 70 minutes past start time and rain still coming down. Plenty of folks waiting under shelter for the weather to pass and the game to begin. Still no word on when and if that might be.

7:24 p.m. — Radar shows storm building back to south, meaning more rain coming for Coors Field. Could be a long, long night.

7:30 p.m. — Cue Garth Brooks and “The Thunder Rolls.” That’s exactly what is happening at 20th and Blake right now.

7:35 p.m. — Rain seems to be letting up a bit but still lightning flashing nearby.

7:42 p.m. — Ugly looking skies overhead with plenty of lightning still in the area. Not starting any time soon.

7:45 p.m. — Wow, super dark beyond third base. Lightning flashing big time.

7:50 p.m. — No movement on tarp with rain still coming down. No updates on time of possible start either. Again, plenty of weather in the area.

7:55 p.m. — A thought: Rockies and Reds are both off on September 9. Cincinnati plays in Seattle the next day while Colorado hosts the Cardinals. Could be an option if tonight doesn’t happen. Rain is still coming down and storms are all around.

8 p.m. — It’s coming up on two hours past start time and the lightning is really making an appearance now. Plenty of storm brewing beyond third base and left field areas.

8:05 p.m. — The crowd is singing along to “YMCA.” It’s really not fun to stay at the YMCA, by the way.

8:08 p.m. — Lightning is just showing off now. Wow, amazing display going on beyond left field.

8:11 p.m. — Radar shows the rain building again behind the storm. Sigh.

8:17 p.m. — Rain is letting up but the lightning in the area is still a big issue. That’s what started this whole delay in the first place, just a reminder.

8:21 p.m. — “It was a dark and stormy night at Coors Field…” Start of a good story and current status as some fans start to return to their seats. Rain is light but still lightning.

8:28 p.m. — One lone grounds crew person is lifting sandbags off the tarp and has become a crowd favorite. Still raining but maybe some movement toward a potential start/opening in the storm?

8:31 p.m. — Grounds crew out to lift sandbags as Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” plays. Well done, Rockies music person.

8:35 p.m. — Looking at radar, appears that there will be an opening to get the rain out of here and the game underway. However, don’t know what the lightning situation will be like.

8:38 p.m. — Grounds crew lifted the sandbags off the tarp but then left. Rain has picked up a little bit.

8:39 p.m. — Grounds crew comes out of Rockies dugout as “Don’t Stop Believing” comes on. Perfect timing again to the Rockies music crew. Tarp being lifted.

8:41 p.m. — Approximate first pitch said to be at 9:20 p.m. We are playing it seems tonight.

8:47 p.m. — Going to be a long night here in LoDo … and for our friends in Cincinnati and Ohio following the Reds in the Eastern time zone.

8:51 p.m. — Kyle Freeland is in the outfield, starting his warmup routine for his start for the Rockies.

8:56 p.m. — In the words of the legendary bard Wang Chung: “Everybody have fun tonight, everybody Wang Chung tonight.” Thanks for hanging with us during the rain delay. We appreciate you trusting us to keep you updated!

9:14 p.m. — Umpires are on the field and it’s almost time to play ball here in Denver!