“Ah, come on,” was the exact quote from me as I stepped into The Rainout Blog official viewing room – my wife calls it the den –and saw the image above on my TV screen.
You may think a guy who occasionally writes about baseball rainouts gets his kicks every time as baseball games is called or delay by inclement weather.
Well OK, I do usually, but last night I was really looking forward to hanging out and watching the Nationals pull even in their series with the Orioles.
Bryce Harper was ready, too, as the MASN cameras caught him peering out at the rain pelting the Nationals Park field.
“It’s raining. It’s miserable and Bryce is hoping mom doesn’t call him home for dinner because he still wants to play ball,” Nationals TV play-by-play man Bob Carpenter said.
I’m not sure if Bryce got a call from his mom, but he didn’t get to play ball.
The game has been rescheduled for 7:05 p.m., Thursday, June 8 at Nationals Park.
The Nationals are scheduled to host Philadelphia – the Phillies again? – tonight. However, the weather forecast is not promising, calling for a 70 percent chance of rain when Tanner Roark is scheduled to deliver the first pitch.
Rain chances increase to about 85 percent around the 9 o’clock hour… about the time Jayson Werth would be clubbing another home run against his former team.
The Nationals-Orioles rainout was the fourth MLB rainout this week. The White Sox and Twins were postponed Wednesday night.
Hail halted the Monday night contest between the Cubs and Rockies at Coors Field.
Oh, hail no. 😬 pic.twitter.com/p8MA7MO8cs
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 8, 2017
On Sunday, the Dodgers and Padres were postponed because of rain, breaking a streak of 134 games at Petco Park without a weather-related postponement. The last came on July 19 1995.
That’s impressive, but not nearly as much as the Padres’ previous mark of 820 consecutive games that began April 4, 2006 and ended with the 1995 postponement.
What does it take to get the reigning National League MVP’s bat hot on a cool night in Washington, D.C.?
A dugout heater, of course.
Bryce Harper was 0-for-3 Tuesday night and his club was struggling to put runs across the plate against a winless Atlanta Braves team. The Nats’ fortunes changed, however, in the eighth with runners on first and second and Harper due to arrive at the plate.
Moments before he climbed out the dugout, MASN cameras spotted Harper warming his hands and bat in front of an orange floor heater.
“Going no gloves, keeping the hands warm. Maybe heating that pine tar up a little,” said Nationals TV commentator F.P. Santangelo. “When you put that bat in front of the warmer it makes that pine tar a little bit wet again. It (pine tar) will get cold on a night like tonight and get real dry.”
Whether it was warming his hands, his bat or both, the technique worked on this 51-degree night. (Or, maybe it was the fact that No. 34 is quite the slugger.)
Harper slapped the first pitch he saw from Braves’ lefty reliever Eric O’Flaherty into left field. Jeff Francoeur attempted a diving catch, but the ball bopped off his glove, giving Harper a two-run double as Stephen Drew and Anthony Rendon scored.
Temps in D.C. are expected to be about the same Wednesday night, in the mid to low 50s, so perhaps the entire team should gather around the heater and not wait until the eighth inning to put away the Braves.
— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) April 13, 2016
When you heard rain was falling on Nationals Park in the District tonight, I bet you gathered the family – the dogs and cats, too – around the television to eagerly watch Nats fans struggle with their ponchos.
Am I right?
Little Johnny said he could work a Rubik’s Cube faster than Curly Dub fans could navigate their heads and arms through the appropriate openings in their plastic rain garments.
Little sister Sarah joked, “How many Nats fans does it take to open a poncho?”
Grandma put in her teeth for the occasion… but you’re not sure why.
But, there was no poking fun at D.C. supporters tonight when the Nats and Rays went into a 17-minute rain delay in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Everyone appeared to get it right tonight.
Head goes here. Arms go there.
Perhaps they heeded F.P. Santangelo’s advice from the night before and read the poncho directions. Although, I’m still not sure ponchos come with instructions. It seems pretty intuitive. But, what do I know?
The rain delay wasn’t all fun and giggles for the Nats and their fans, however. In the top of the sixth inning, Bryce Harper slipped on the outfield grass, still wet from the brief shower, and landed on his left knee.
Harper left the game with what manager Matt Williams described as a mild hamstring strain to his left knee.
“I came up throwing, and it was really slippery out there from the rain,” Harper said to reporters after the game. “My right knee gave out, and then I put all my pressure on the left knee, got my hamstring — lower hamstring into the knee — a little bit. But it didn’t feel very good. Was in pretty good pain. Was a little scared at the same time because I could feel a little more on the lower half of it. But see how I am tomorrow and go from there.”
Miguel Cabrera hits baseballs that can burst clouds.
— #VoteTigers (@tigers) June 18, 2015
You may remember Cabrera hit his 400th career home run last month in St. Louis, and shortly thereafter, heavy rain suspended the game for an hour and 20 minutes.
Cabrera did it again Wednesday night in Cincinnati. The Tigers’ slugger sent a Johnny Cueto fastball the opposite way, deep into the right-field seats at the Reds’ Great American Ball Park. The blast gave Detroit a 3-2 lead.
Before Cueto could toss another pitch, the Reds’ field crew dragged out the tarp to cover the field as the rain fall became heavier. The game was delayed for an hour and 14 minutes.
When played resumed, the Reds tied the game at 3-3, sending the contest into extra innings. Those Reds fans who waited through the storm and few extra frames were treated to exciting finish when third baseman Todd Frazier hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 14th inning.
The homer, Frazier’s second of the game and his fourth in two games, gave Cincinnati an 8-4 win early Thursday morning.
Let’s go to the video tape:
A rainy, messy night in Washington delayed the game between the Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays for about 27 minutes. The Rays, who play their home games in a dome and don’t get out much – experience their first weather delay of the season.
The rain in Washington was the impetus for one of the best quotes of the night. This one came from Nats’ skipper Matt Williams when talking to reporters after the game about a particular not-so-pretty play form his team in the field.
“It’s raining like cats and dogs and other creatures,” Williams said. “Slick ball.
But you know what’s funnier? A guy wrestling with a poncho at Nationals Park. Take it away Bob and F.P. (Wait. Do ponchos come with directions?)
You know what’s not funny? That could easily be me someday. Easily!