Bless the poor Nationals Park grounds crew. They tried. That tarp just did not want to roll out when rain started to pick up in the sixth inning of Sunday afternoon’s finale with the Baltimore Orioles in the nation’s capital.
They raced to get it out, but just weren’t able to, and the water pooled up in the infield quickly, rendering the field unplayable in no time at all.
We're in a rain delay. ☔️ pic.twitter.com/JtUnF6Yta1— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) August 9, 2020
Two-plus hours later, about an hour and forty/forty-five ish minutes after the rain ended, both clubs decided to suspend the game.
“Per MLB rules,” a press release announced, “the game between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles has been suspended.”
“It will resume on Friday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Nationals will still serve as the home team.”
“The field was deemed unplayable,” Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez explained in his post game Zoom call. “So the game is suspended.”
“We’ll play in Baltimore on Friday,” he added. “Other than that, I don’t have any other details about what time or anything. We couldn’t get the tarp on the field.
Me: 12:35 start! I’ll have the whole afternoon off to read!— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) August 9, 2020
“I feel bad for our grounds crew, because personally, to me, these guys are the best if not one of the best, so it’s just unfortunate that that happened.”
Asked about the language of the team’s official announcement of the suspension, Martinez said, “it was based on — it wasn’t the actual rain — because obviously it did stop raining, it was the fact that we couldn’t get the tarp on the field.
“There’s a rule that states that because of mechanical error, the game is suspended.”
How did everyone spend the two hours the game was delayed before it was suspended?
“Just watching the show out there,” Stephen Strasburg told reporters after he put together a solid four innings of work on the mound against the O’s before a five-run fifth ended his first start of the 2020 campaign.
The 32-year-old right-hander joked with the reporter who asked about how everyone spent the rain delay by correcting their word choice.
“I don’t if you can call it a ‘rain delay,’” Strasburg said. I think it was more of a tarp delay. So, yeah, pretty interesting, just add to the list of 2020.”
His manager agreed.
“For me honestly it’s part of this 2020 season, I mean, it really is,” Martinez said.
“There [are] going to be days where you don’t know what to expect. This is part of it. We’ve just got to keep moving on. Like I said, at the end of the game I told the guys, ‘Hey, pack up, we’re going to New York and getting ready to play tomorrow,’ and that’s all we can do.”
The Nationals start a four-game set with the Mets in Citi Field tonight at 7:05 PM with Patrick Corbin on the mound for the visitors and Steven Matz starting for the home team. It’s going to be 88° and sunny according to the current forecast, but check that tarp just in case, Citi Field folks.