Sarris: Did a closed roof hurt the Blue Jays in Game 5?

From SABR member Eno Sarris at FanGraphs on October 19, 2016:

Before the Indians clinched the American League Championship Series behind their improbable youngster, there was a mini controversy. Because it was 66 degrees with no chance of rain, there was a movement to keep the roof open at the Rogers Centre. It can get a little stuffy in that park; if the weather was good, why not?

It turns out the why not is in the hands of Major League Baseball in the postseason. The club is consulted, but the final decision goes to MLB. They decided the roof would be shut. It’s natural to wonder, though, after seeing a few long drives fall short of the wall, if those same batted balls would have cleared the outfield fence if the roof were open.

 “They’ll leave it closed for the 3rd game. I think generally it’s felt even conditions for everybody” Phyllis Merhige, an MLB official, told Evan Drellich pregame. John Lott, at The Athletic, asked Blue Jays president about the conversation he had with the ruling organization, and the latter replied that it was a “short conversation.” Apparently, shadows may have disrupted the game unfairly and the league wanted “consistent conditions.”

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Originally published: October 20, 2016. Last Updated: October 20, 2016.