Pre-emp­tively paused

Game called be­fore it starts; se­ries to re­sume to­day

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - MLB PLAYOFFS - By Stephen Whyno

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.

PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS/AP

Com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred post­poned Game 2 be­cause of a fore­cast that pre­dicted rain through­out Satur­day.

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