When they brought out the flamethrowers, we knew there was a problem
After three days of much heavier rain in Washington, I was confident that tonight’s game in Philadelphia was going to happen. Sure, it was drizzling around game time, but with a properly cared for field, there was no reason for the game to be delayed that much longer.
The problem was that the field wasn’t properly cared for over the weekend. At least, unlike in Washington, they cancelled the game within 30 minutes of playtime.
Chelsea Janes‘ Tweets help to tell an interesting story.
…and here comes Harper. He pretended to slip on the baseline. That was genius.
According to Retrosheet, this is the first game postponed because of “wet grounds” since Sept. 29, 1987, in Milwaukee.
Harper has picked up a rake. He tried it out. Now he’s tossing drying agent on the field like he’s feeding birds. Bryce Harper is trying to scatter diamond dry on the field. This is where we are.
Going to leave this Rhys Hoskins quote here, as a summary of what has happened tonight at Citizens Bank Park: “I think everybody saw the flamethrowers.”
Nationals, by the way, aren’t angry. Their decision-makers joked that they can’t really say much about the handling of the weather the way things have gone for them over the years. They know how hard it can be.
Scherzer said the field was “spongey.” If you put your foot down, it gave out. Obvious to him and to Rhys Hoskins — the players who went out to consult — that it wasn’t playable and would only get worse once people started running on it.
A pretty detailed overview of the whole drama is here: Bad weather reports, blowtorches and the helicopter option: How an MLB game was postponed by wet grounds
To summarize, what happened basically is that the grounds crew didn’t manage the field over the weekend, came back to a muddy infield, tried to blowtorch the field dry and ended up just creating a crust on top of the muck. The field was unplayable in spots and dangerous.
It’s real shame since an evening in the Diamond Club would have been a treat.