Game called before it starts; series to resume today
WASHINGTON — Long after the concourses emptied, the sky cleared up as the tarp still covered the field. Game 2 of the NL Division Series between the Nationals and Dodgers still had to wait.
Major League Baseball postponed the DodgersNationals game until today because it expected the rain that fell throughout the morning and afternoon to continue well into the night.
The teams were scheduled for a midafternoon first pitch Saturday. But rain that intensified as Hurricane Matthew moved up the coast and a forecast of “100 percent certainty” for precipitation until at least 8 p.m. forced the decision, Commissioner Rob Manfred said.
“We hate to cancel,” said Manfred, who arrived Saturday afternoon after a flight from New York. “We hate to make travel worse on the players than it was originally intended to be. But it just doesn’t look like we’re going to have a situation that would be safe for the players to play.”
Rain stopped falling at Nationals Park about an hour after the decision was made to postpone the game. Rain was forecast to resume in the early evening.
LA leads the best-of-five series 1-0 after a 4-3 victory Friday night.
Manfred said he expected the weather to be better today at Nationals Park and hopes to be “in a sunny period.” It’s supposed to be 61 degrees and windy around game time.
Left-hander Rich Hill (12-5, 2.12 ERA) will start DODGERS VS. NATIONALS Game 1: Game 2: Game 3: Game 4: Game 5: for the Dodgers against right-hander Tanner Roark (16-10, 2.83). Manfred said the rest of the series will proceed as scheduled with Game 3 Monday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, as the rain wiped out the travel day to the West Coast.
Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy said players came in prepared to play but was glad the decision was made quickly.
“Hats off to Major League Baseball for canceling this early,” Murphy said. “I’m sure they didn’t want either pitcher to get out there and get caught in a situation where you lose one of them, especially in a short series like this.”
The postponement means the teams will have to play and fly today.
It’s expected to be Dodgers righty Kenta Maeda against Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez in Game 3. LA manager Dave Roberts said lefty Julio Urias would start Game 4, if necessary, which would leave Clayton Kershaw available for a possible Game 5.
With Hill dealing with blister problems, the Dodgers are unlikely to use him on short rest in a potential Game 5. That means they won’t try to push Kershaw to pitch on short rest in Game 4.
Commissioner Rob Manfred postponed Game 2 because of a forecast that predicted rain throughout Saturday.