Jul 17, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT
[Updated 11:34 p.m.]
The Nationals and Dodgers game on Friday night was suspended in the top of the sixth inning with the Nats leading 3-2 due to an issue with the lighting at Nationals Park.
The game will be resumed on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. with the regularly scheduled game to be played at 4:05 p.m., or 20 minutes after the first one is completed.
The lighting problem began in the fourth inning when a bank of lights above the stadium on the third base line went out in the middle of a play with Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger on the mound. The electrical problem didn’t affect the brightness of the field much, but it was enough to convince the umpire crew to send the players back into the dugout.
That caused a delay of one hour and 23 minutes. The teams then took the field again to continue playing and five more outs were recorded before they went out again at 9:50 p.m.
They then resumed after another 40 minutes, only to be delayed again moments later. Three times the lights went out before the game was finally suspended at 10:51 p.m.
“Just unforeseen circumstances,” Matt Williams said. “You never know with baseball. After the second one we knew that we weren’t going to do it again. You end up spending pitchers and have to sit around way too long. The fact that it happened three times, we don’t know exactly why.”
Jordan Zimmermann started for the Nationals and threw 63 pitches before the first delay. He was replaced by Tanner Roark when play resumed. Roark threw just seven pitches before the game was suspended.
“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Zimmermann said. “It’s unfortunate. I felt pretty good tonight when that happened. It’s just one of those things that I guess you can’t explain.”
Zimmermann said afterwards he felt he could go in “a couple days” after having a relatively brief outing. But Williams will make that decision and said they will evaluate the situation on Saturday before determining their pitching plans for the following days.
The electrical issue just happens to come in the first game back at Nationals Park since the All-Star break where Taylor Swift performed two concerts at the stadium. She appeared on both Monday and Tuesday night as part of her “1989 World Tour.’
Whatever the reason, all sides seemed to agree the conditions were unplayable, even with the field mostly lit.
“It’s not what players are used to,” Williams explained. “Guys throw way too hard to have somebody not be able to see a baseball. You’re taking people’s lives in your hands at that point. We want the conditions to be appropriate and we’re not going to run our guys out there. [Don Mattingly] is not going to do it, either. Baseball probably wouldn’t let us do it, either. So it’s not a situation where we want our guys to be out there in dim light trying to see a baseball that’s coming at them hard.”
Tickets to Friday’s game will not be valid for either of Saturday’s games. They can, however, be exchanged for a future game in 2015, depending on availability. Those with tickets to the 4:05 p.m. game can attend both games on Saturday, the Nationals announced in a press release.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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