WASHINGTON — What if a professional baseball team threw a rain delay and forgot to bring rain?
That’s pretty much what happened on Thursday night in Washington, as the Nationals and Braves got set to kick off their series. Despite stretches of blue skies overhead, the club announced at 6:40 p.m. that the start of the game would be delayed to let a storm pass.
Radar showed storms headed towards downtown Washington…around 8:30 p.m. That would be enough to play at least half of a game before possibly losing time to a delay.
This is the second night in a row that the team has been delayed by rain, Wednesday night against the Mets, but unlike Thursday, that game was eventually postponed. After it actually rained.
The Nats waited through two hours of non-rain-rain-delay, then 30 minutes of light rain, before finally announcing that the teams would start at 10:10 p.m. Given the Eastern time zone in Washington, D.C., this was not ideal and led to some cranky exchanges between 106.7 The Fan personalities:
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo acknowledged the unfortunate circumstances that led to the decision in a discussion with the media. Here was his statement:
“Tonight was tough. We could see weather heading our way and wanted to be proactive, but the timing of its arrival kept shifting. We hate when this happens–it’s such a tough spot to be in. Do you start play or not? There are so many factors to consider, including how a mid-game delay would impact our players. We know the fans came to see a game, and we hate that we made them wait. We appreciate everyone’s patience tonight.”
One incentive to not make this game a weekend double-header is because it could cost either Max Scherzer or Stephen Strasburg an opportunity to start and/or play in the All-Star Game next week.