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Nats-Dodgers game suspended

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.

  1. ehay2k - Jul 17, 2015 at 11:23 PM

    Can’t give us the win? C’mon MLB!! 😁

    • Steady Eddie - Jul 17, 2015 at 11:37 PM

      No discretion, rule is clear — game suspended for lights or mechanical reasons (like a tarp malfunction) have to be resumed and finished later, aren’t called.

      • ehay2k - Jul 18, 2015 at 12:14 PM

        Taylor Swift isn’t considered an Act of God? 🙂

  2. scmargenau - Jul 17, 2015 at 11:38 PM

    We need a quick rain at 2:35 then call it!

  3. rayvil01 - Jul 18, 2015 at 12:17 AM

    Strange night at the park.

    Pretty confident that it was a short in a transformer that was taking it out on thermal overload. Then it would cool enough to reset the breaker. Get hot. Repeat.

    Will have to change out that transformer or jumper in a spare.

    Darned shame. Roark looked nasty from up in the third level.

    • ArVAFan - Jul 18, 2015 at 12:50 AM

      Hope he can save some of that nasty for later: Stras isn’t coming back that soon.

  4. dclivejazz - Jul 18, 2015 at 12:49 AM

    Thoroughly ridiculous on every level: not a word of apology yet from the Nats for putting the fans in attendance or the teams through these BS delays, and now those of us who sat through them all don’t have the option of attending the resumption.

    I’m sure that nobody involved wanted to inconvenience the fans and teams as happened tonight, but this situation was handled about as poorly as it could be.

    • natsnatsnatswoo - Jul 18, 2015 at 8:39 AM

      Kwitcherbitchen. You got to watch five innings of a major league game AND you got a rain check to go to a future game. Plus you didn’t have to endure Johnny Holliday doing PBP.

      • natsjackinfl - Jul 18, 2015 at 9:07 AM

        I agree. One thing nice about getting older is gaining more appreciation for the things I really enjoy.

        Now I get to watch more baseball today plus get to pick another future game I want to attend

      • dhamm6500 - Jul 18, 2015 at 10:10 AM

        +1, at least.

    • natsnatsnatswoo - Jul 18, 2015 at 11:28 AM

      You want an apology? Here’s your apology!

    • zmunchkin - Jul 18, 2015 at 12:21 PM

      According to MLB rule 4.10frain checks are not offerered for suspended games like this one. So the Nats are already doing something they don’t need to.

      Further, how do you manage clearing the stadium, and getting fans with tickets for today in, between the conclusion of last nights game and today’s game.

      So please get a clue!

  5. natsfan1a - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:06 AM

    Pretty wild. I went to bed during the first delay, but I *think* I bracketed the DVR long enough to watch the subsequent action, abbreviated as it was, and delays.

  6. stoatva - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:35 AM

    I did not have a good feeling about the situation and left during the first delay. Arrived home and fixed dinner before the game resumed.

    Good decision for once. Yay me.

  7. Joe Seamhead - Jul 18, 2015 at 7:34 AM

    We stuck it out until the very unsatisfactory end. Not sure how the compensation ticket thing will work out, as getting tickets exchanged for a future game rarely (never) works in our favor. All the team can do is exchange them for “best available” seats for a non-premium game. Oh, well, such is life.

    Between this game, and the rain fiasco in Philly, the Nats bullpen really has gotten stretched a couple times now, due to very weird circumstances.

  8. veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    It’s gonna be one helluva trade deadline picking up Span, Rendon, Werth, and Zimmerman without having to give up one prpspect!

    • virginiascopist - Jul 18, 2015 at 8:40 AM

      Don’t forget Stras (knocking loudly on wood).

      • veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 10:51 AM

        Oops

  9. janebeard - Jul 18, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    We were there for the Astros game that got suspended, too. There was a man there, sitting two rows behind us, who had driven up from Greenville NC to take his 7 years to a Nats game. They’d been to two other games that had long rain delays, and left before the game ended because the kid got too tired. He tried to buy seats to the Saturday game but it’s sold out. We’d already parted with our seats for Saturday or I would have given them to him. I feel especially bad for them. I have his contact info is anyone is NOT going and wants to help out.

    • nats106 - Jul 18, 2015 at 10:57 AM

      Ive got extra tickets for the Sunday game if they are staying through then.

      • janebeard - Jul 18, 2015 at 11:03 AM

        Thanks, 106. We offered to give them ours for Sunday, as well. They can’t stay through Sunday. SO sweet of you to offer!

    • zmunchkin - Jul 18, 2015 at 12:24 PM

      Has he though about StubHub or the guys selling tickets on half street?

      My 2 Tix for today are also gone.

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