For some inexplicable reason the Philadelphia Phillies decided to try to get this one started at 3:05 PM in spite of the forecast that predicted rain and lots of it for the entire afternoon and night.
One and a half innings in, the rain in Citizens Bank Park, which was light at the start, picked up in intensity as Philly lefty Adam Morgan completed his second scoreless frame on the mound and the tarp came out.
About two hours later, the Phillies made the announcement that the game was officially postponed.
They'll play a doubleheaders tomorrow starting at 1:05 PM EDT.
The Nationals, as a number of reporters have noted, will have to find someone to start the second game since Gio Gonzalez warmed up and pitched a scoreless frame before the game went into a delay:
The #Phillies announce that today's game has been cancelled & will be made up tomorrow as part of a straight doubleheader beginning at 1:05— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 27, 2015
As expected, Nationals' manager Matt Williams was not thrilled with the way it was handled:
Asked MW how frustrating this is: "Extremely. Burned our pitcher. Not very happy about it."— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) June 27, 2015
Williams said Stephen Strasburg will start the first game of two tomorrow afternoon. No word today on who'll get the nod for the second half of the doubleheader.
Gio Gonzalez wasn't thrilled with the Phillies either:
Frustrated Gio Gonzalez: "Big rain. This rain kind of caught us all off guard. We didn't know it was coming for like three days so..."— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) June 27, 2015
So, anyway, until tomorrow. Here are our notes for the game that started and never finished, and some stats that won't count since they're now wiped out....
Gio's Cheesesteaks: After a less-than-stellar 3 ⅓-inning outing against the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field, Gio Gonzalez bounced back in his last start on Sunday afternoon in the nation's capital. Washington's 29-year-old lefty shut the Pittsburgh Pirates out over seven innings on the mound in Nationals Park, giving up just four hits and two walks in an 85-pitch performance that was one of his strongest of the season.
So what was different for Gonzalez last time out?
"I think he used his curveball a lot more," Nats' skipper Matt Williams said. "Threw some changeups, but for the most part his curveball was effective for him. Big spot he got [Andrew] McCutchen on one, and then he threw it early in the count too, which -- as we've talked about it a lot it -- just makes his fastball late even better. So, I think more curveballs, less changeups today, he had a good feel for it early."
"For him that's the key," Williams explained."If he can throw strikes then his stuff is really good. The issues come when he allows bases on balls. Today he didn't do that. For the most part he was throwing it where he wanted to, both in and out and using the curveball effectively."
The win over the Pirates left Gonzalez (5-4) on the year with a 4.41 ERA, a 3.18 FIP, 33 walks (3.64 BB/9) and 72 Ks (7.93 K/9) in 81 ⅔ IP so far this season, 12 ⅔ of them against the Nationals' NL East rivals from Philadelphia, against whom the left-hander was (1-1) with a 2.84 ERA and a .267/.353/.356 line against before taking the mound opposite the Phillies today in Citizens Bank Park.
The third start of the year against the Phillies and the fifteenth start of Gonzalez's 2015 campaign began with a single to left by Ben Revere, who stole second one out later, collecting his 19th stolen base of the season in 23 attempts. A wild pitch on a curve in the dirt to Jeff Francoeur allowed Revere to take third with two down, but he was stranded on the basepaths when Francouer hit a one-hopper to short than Ian Desmond handled. 19-pitch first.
Adam(s) Morgan: With a win over the St. Louis Cardinals in his MLB debut last Sunday, 2011 Phillies' 3rd Round pick Adam Morgan, 25, snapped a Philadelphia franchise record streak of twenty-five consecutive games without a win for Philly starters which stretched from May 24th to June 20th. The last win by one of their starters before that came on May 23rd, when Cole Hamels beat Washington in Nationals Park.
On the month, with Morgan's win, Philies' starters were a combined (1-13) after last night's loss by Aaron Harang, with a 6.62 ERA over that stretch.
Morgan, who was (0-6) with a 4.74 ERA, a 4.79 FIP, 27 walks (3.56 BB/9) and 33 Ks (4.35 K/9) before he was called up to face the Cardinals, went 5 ⅔ in front of 30,000+ in Citizens Bank Park to earn his first MLB victory, limiting St.L hitters to six hits, two walks and one earned run in a 9-2 win.
"'Morgan really stepped up with the opportunity,'" recently-resigned Phillies' skipper Ryne Sandberg told reporters, as quoted by the Associated Press, after the outing.
"'He showed a lot of composure out there and was terrific. He controlled the baseball, had good fastball command on both sides of the plate. He had a real good look as if he was under control right from the get-go. He was impressive and fun to watch."
This afternoon, Morgan, a Tampa, Florida-born, University of Alabama-educated lefty, was taking on the Nationals for the first time, obviously, and looking to end a two-game slide for the Phillies.
Armed with a four-seamer that sat around 89-90 mph and maxed out at 91.7 in his debut, a slider (81.9 mph), a cut fastball (79.6) and changeup (77.0), Morgan took the mound for the second time in the majors today and worked around a bunt single by Michael Taylor for a scoreless 11-pitch first.
Jose Lobaton and Matt den Dekker hit back-to-back, two-out singles, but Gio Gonzlez K'd swinging to end a 24-pitch second that left Morgan at 35 total after two.
Random Game Notes: Ben Revere's home run of Max Scherzer last night was the first pinch hit home run of his career and just the third he's hit out of the park in 2,331 career plate appearances. It was the seventh Scherzer has allowed in 110 ⅓ IP in 2015.
• A win today for Phillies' starter Adam Morgan would make the first since Antonio Bastardo in 2009 to win each of his first two major league starts.
• With last night's win, the Nationals improved to 7-4 against the Phillies this season and 2-2 in Citizens Bank Park.
• This weekend's series in Philadelphia is the last between the NL East rivals until September, when they'll play six more.
• Elias Sports Bureau issued an official correction: The Nationals' starters' streak of 48 scoreless innings pitched was reduced to 47 ⅓ scoreless by Elias, who noted that an inning in which a run is allowed (last Friday with Joe Ross on the mound) doesn't count towards the total in the official record books. Also, as Matt Williams noted this afternoon in a talk with reporters, giving up a run doesn't bode well for Max Scherzer:
Matt Williams on Scherzer's outing yesterday: "Well, the last starter who gave up a run for us got sent down..."— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) June 27, 2015
• Ben Revere's stolen base in the first was his 19th of the season. The Nationals, as a team, have 25 stolen bases so far this season.
Nationals still 41-33...