Washington Nationals' starter Jordan Zimmermann tried to stay loose throughout the first delay caused by the bank of lights along the third base line in Nationals Park going out in the bottom of the fourth inning last night.
"I just played catch," Zimmermann explained after the game was eventually suspended, "and then I shut it down for 15 minutes and pretty much counted that as an inning and then threw 15 minutes later, played catch and then counted that as another inning and, I mean, once I got to seven innings, in an hour delay it doesn't pay to go back out there and risk getting hurt."
Once it went past an hour, Nats' skipper Matt Williams explained, there was no discussion. Zimmermann was done.
"It wasn't a question," Williams said. "Once we got to the hour point, he's constantly down there throwing to try to keep loose, but at that point he's just sat too long.
"The fortunate part about that particular situation is that Tanner [Roark] is ready, but now that we used him we'll have to reevaluate. He didn't throw very many pitches, so we'll reevaluate that tonight and tomorrow."
The initial delay lasted 1 hour and 22 minutes total, after which Los Angeles Dodgers' right-hander Mike Bolsinger returned to the mound to finish out the bottom of the fourth inning before he too was done for the night after just four innings of work in the series opener.
Bolsinger told reporters, including ESPN.com's Mark Saxon, that he would have been fine continuing without all the lights on.
"'When the lights are fully on, maybe I need glasses, but I can barely see the signs,'" Bolsinger said. "'Actually, when they dim down like that it's a lot easier to see, to me, but I don't know how it would be to a hitter.'"
"I couldn't even tell where it was," Zimmermann said when asked about the conditions on the field once the lights went out.
"I was looking around and you couldn't really see, you could just tell it was a little darker, but nothing too crazy."
In spite of the fact that he and the Nationals trailed 2-1 when he was finished for the night, Zimmermann was disappointed, since he said he was in a good place on the mound.
"'It's unfortunate," Zimmermann said, as quoted by ESPN's Saxon.
"I felt pretty good tonight, and then that happened. It's just one of those things that I guess you can't explain."
He threw enough, however, that he said he'll probably have to get regular rest before his next outing.
"I can probably pitch in a couple days," he told reporters, "but we'll see what Skip says and I'm sure it will be four or five days."
After the initial delay, Roark completed an inning of work in the top of the fifth before another outage delayed the game for 40 minutes, after which the Nats' reliever picked up a bat and doubled to left-center off Dodgers' right-hander Chin-hiu Tsao before scoring on a go-ahead homer to left by Yunel Escobar that made it 3-2 Nats.
Before the Nationals and Dodgers could start the sixth though, the third outage of the night led the officials to make the decision to suspend the game.
They'll finish the game this afternoon, starting back up at 2:05 PM, before playing the second game of three for L.A. in D.C. at 4:05 PM or twenty minutes after the conclusion of the first game.
Yes, it's a suspended game," Williams said. "So it's an official game because it's five innings, but it's still suspended and we'll have to finish that one before the regularly scheduled one."
The Nats released the following statement on the outages this morning through a Washington Nationals spokesperson:
"Our initial investigation indicates the power failure at Nationals Park last night was caused by a faulty circuit breaker. It was replaced shortly after midnight and the lights were tested throughout the night with no additional outages. While we believe we have identified and corrected the issue, additional tests are being conducted by the manufacturer of the field lighting system.
"The Nationals organization would like to again apologize to our fans for any inconvenience this incident may have caused.
"Last night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers will resume today at 2:05 PM."
One important note on the ticket situation, in case you missed it last night:
Tix from Friday's game are not valid for Sat.'s games. Fans w tix to Fri.'s game can exchange them for a future 2015 game, subject to avail.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 18, 2015
Fans with tickets for tomorrow's 4:05 PM game are welcome to attend the resumed game at 2:05 PM on Saturday. Gates will open at 11:30 AM.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 18, 2015
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