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Running Weather/Game Thread

UPDATE, 3:29 p.m. - This afternoon's game has been rained out.


UPDATE, 3:18 p.m. -- Just some guesswork here, but there's a chance this game is getting called off. The grounds screw is hammering stakes into the tarp, holding it down on the infield. The rain is still coming down. Once we get official word on a decision, I will post.


UPDATE, 3:02 p.m. -- The rain continues. The rain continues. The rain continues. For the last 30 minutes or so, fans, in a steady line, have been exiting Nationals Park through the center field gate.


UPDATE, 2:30 p.m. -- The tarp is back on. Team president Stan Kasten just swung by the press box and said (guessed? predicted?) that a block of heavier rain will be coming through for the next 30 minutes or so.

"Behind that 30-minute window appears the possibility of a large opening," Kasten said. "There will still be mist, but the field would still be perfectly OK. So that's what we're waiting on. If, when we take the tarp off in 20 or 30 minutes, heavy rain comes down, that will be it."

Kasten said that if an exposed infield receives any more rainfall at any point, there will not be a game. He also said that, if this game is cancelled, there will be no immediate announcement about a make-up date; the variables for a make-up are just too messy to figure out w/in hours.

"And just philosophically," Kasten said, "we always try to play every game. This many people have made these many plans -- they always have to know we'll do whatever we can to get the game on whenever we can. That's just a general rule, philosophically. Yes, today there's the extra consideration of them being in [DC] for the last time, but that's really subordinate. If you can't play, you can't play. And if you can play, we will always try to play."


UPDATE, 2:01 p.m. -- The tarp is off. But we don't have word on an expected start time. The rain is down to a mist.


UPDATE, 1:53 p.m. -- The tarp remains on the field. The scoreboard now says, "We are monitoring the situation & will keep you updated as information becomes available." The hundreds inside Nats Park can busy themselves with watching an Astros-Braves game on the jumbotron.


UPDATE, 1:32 p.m. -- Just a minute ago, one of the umpires (probably crew chief Tim Welke) was out on the field watching the shenanigans. It looked like Welke actually waived the grounds crew off the infield and asked for the tarp to be put back on. So that's what is happening now. The infield is again covered up. And that 2 p.m. start? ... Um, probably not happening.


UPDATE, 1:27 p.m. -- The tarp is off, and maybe that's step No. 1 for starting a game, but it's leaving the field exposed to a steady rain. Right now, a few workers are applying sod to the infield -- all while puddles are pooling behind third base. The field does not look good. The scoreboard says, "Attention fans... we are currently prepping the field for a delayed start." I think the translation is: Buy your beer. Pay for parking. Wait us out.


UPDATE, 1:15 p.m. -- The tarp is coming off right now. It's still raining. The Nats are now saying the start time is 2 p.m., not 1:35.


UPDATE, 1:04 p.m. -- The Cardinals, anticipating an afternoon with some weather-related interruptions, just changed their starting pitcher for the game. Kyle McClellan replaces Kyle Lohse (3-0, 1.97). So, it's already a bullpen game for St. Louis.


This is kind of a shocker, actually. We just got word in the press box that, somehow, the Nats are trying to start this game at 1:35. Even though it's pouring right now. And the radar shows little indication of improvement.

Originally, we'd heard discussions that the Nationals saw a window between 2:30 and 3 p.m. that might allow for the weather to clear. But oh well. We'll see what happens. The Cardinals don't return to DC this year, so that's the reason they're trying to get this in.

I have a feeling this won't be the last weather-related update.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 3, 2009; 1:01 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Nats Sign Reliever MacDougal
Next: More On The Rainout


Thanks Chico, knew we could count on the Post for a weather update. Can't find it from the Nats web site!!

Posted by: bluegal | May 3, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Smart idea by Tony Touch.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 3, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I just called their number a few minutes ago and it said it would "probably be delayed". Didn't say till when or how long but to call back.

Posted by: CALSGR8 | May 3, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Now it says 2pm

Posted by: CALSGR8 | May 3, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Johnny and Ray say 2:00 as well.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 3, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Who gets to go on the DL after todays game on a wet field?

Posted by: ramgut | May 3, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

As a season ticket holder this just increases are frustration toward the Nats. Now I know it's totally god-controlled and has nothing to do about the Nationals but living in Leesburg you think that I am going to make the hour, 15 ride just to have the game cancelled? What about my ticket, it's a waste of$90 bucks for the two because it's going down the toilet.

What we are frustrated over is this lack of concern for the fans. This is the third or fourth game this year with bad weather and concerns on if a game is starting or not. Of course I know of the problems of rescheduling these games but what about the fans that pay these big bucks to get to a game, wait around and then either play it in the rain or cancel it.

Sorry but today's game was a perfect candidate to cancel and frankly if it means something in the scheme of things, come back in October and play it. But other than that call it a day, you know the Nationals probably have rain insurance for anything cancelled.

Do you think the fans should go through all of this crap????

I am looking at my game tickets and also looking at Masn with an empty stadium. Guess if the team was a bit better I wouldn't feel this bad but it just makes me want to rethink getting season tickets after this year. Five years of poor play and problems is stressing me out.

Posted by: Golfersal | May 3, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON - With a game already postponed 100 miles to the north and the forecast for lingering showers throughout the afternoon, Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa just announced that Kyle McClellan will replace Kyle Lohse as starting pitcher should today’s action against the Washington Nationals actually get under way.

McClellan has not pitched since Tuesday in Atlanta. He is among a number of relievers, including closer Ryan Franklin, who could use work, making the move to a “bullpen game” an easy one for TLR.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 3, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

First off, the above came from

With today's game, they are going to do everything possible to get it in since STL does not come back this year. It looks like conditions may improve for a little while, so we'll see...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 3, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

My fault...I didn't see that Chico had already posted the pitching change for the Cards. Sorry...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 3, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Charlie & Dave on the radio just said they're putting the tarp back on. Game start not likely before 2:15 or 2:30 now.

Posted by: TheBorg | May 3, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Dang - Chico beat me by 2 minutes! ;-)

Posted by: TheBorg | May 3, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Golfersal is spot on. The Nats have to look at the conditions for the fans as well as the players. Would Stan sit outside, without cover, for 5 hours to watch a sloppy game? Maybe they should open the Diamond Club for free eats for everyone that attends and let them sit in any empty seats under the overhangs they can find once the game starts. Then I might waste my time and risk pneumonia.

Posted by: ramgut | May 3, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

We may get a little break from the weather this afternoon, but it looks a lot worse further to the north and east. Philadelphia has already canceled their affair with the Mets since that would be an easy one to make up later in the year. The Yankees are in the same situation as us, as they are hosting the Angels for their lone visit this year. It'll take a miracle to get that game in, but they are in a rain delay, just like we are. It's all about scheduling...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 3, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they should open the Diamond Club for free eats for everyone that attends and let them sit in any empty seats under the overhangs they can find once the game starts.

Now, THAT'S funny. Obviously, you have never done business with the Lerners or Stan the Plan Man.

You really do need to buy that undercoat. It's put on at the factory. There's nothing we can do about it.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 3, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Commenting on the previous string - the MacDougal signing strikes me as more like one of JBow's salvage jobs than anything else.
All he does is clutter up the SYR bullpen with another aging arm. I thought the organization had cast off that ploy.

Posted by: BinM | May 3, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse


I was thinking the same thing. I actually LOL.

Sorry Ramgut, I don't mean to single you out, but Stan "The Plan" and the Lerners don't give a frog fat arse about the fans.

Posted by: Section505203 | May 3, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse


The front is moving in a N-NE direction; If nothing flares up from the south, they might be able to get this one in.

Posted by: BinM | May 3, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

If you couldn't tell, I was being facetious.

But the food in the Diamond Club does look good, and it would go to waste.....

Posted by: ramgut | May 3, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse


My bad. Your suggestions are very good though.

Posted by: Section505203 | May 3, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

2:30 is the goal now.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 3, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I just called and they still say its in a delay. HOWEVER, NOW NO START TIME HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | May 3, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@Section505203: I think this is the first thing you and I have agreed on all season! LOL.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 3, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The tarp went back on at 2:17, no further update...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 3, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

i've been incommunicado for quite a while with piggy flu duties, but am now back, so any commenter please forgive me if i repeat any threads/ideas that have already been fleshed and throughly flogged by any NJer(s).

just wanted to say how good it feels to have Cheese and Martis as the beginnings of our foundation. let's take SS then more pitching draftily? our Negligent Homicider's Row looks not awful for a year or so?

Posted by: nova_g_man | May 3, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Jaegler on the radio just said that playing today's game is completely up to MLB. so, if you've got complaints about being soggy, getting pneumonia or whatever, take it up with MLB - not the Nats, the umps or anyone else. It's the "unique situation" with the Cards in town for their only visit of the year. It is what it is, people. Live with it.

Posted by: TheBorg | May 3, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

In addition to being a baseball buff, I am also a weather buff --- it looks like the last of the rain bands (for now) should exit within the next 15-20 minutes. It's already stopped raining here in Wild West Fairfax. There is a break behind the rain, so that would be the opportunity to get the game in (hopefully).

Posted by: BGinVA | May 3, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm in Falls Church and the rain stoppped almost an hour ago...for whatever thats worth.

Posted by: FloresFan | May 3, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Stan the Plan sez the weather is outside the plan so he has no plan on whether the plan works regardless of what the plan sez the plan should be. At this point, my confidence in Stan the Plan Man is so low I think it's less than even money he can point out North on a compass.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 3, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

They said on the radio rain delay show that it is MLB's call. Not the Nats. Not the umps.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 3, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The grounds screw is hammering stakes into the tarp.

This is consistent with the Nats' play all season, as this team has been hammering stakes into our heart since Opening Day.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 3, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Oops. I see that the Borg has already made that point. Oh well, it bears repeating...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 3, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget to refresh and check the top of the post for updates. Chico just did one about the stakes.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 3, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, no matter how overcast it may be outside, we always have our very own rays of sunshine here in NJland to brighten things up.

Posted by: joebleux | May 3, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to quickly say, this is the best source of information I've found on the game. As a Post subscriber I definitely appreciate it.

Posted by: greg_sanders | May 3, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

McElroy's blog on the MASN site sez that the game has been cancelled. No makeup date yet.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 3, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Bob Carpenter just confirmed that it has been postponed.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 3, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

So did Chico at the top of the post. ^

Aside to nova_g_man, hope everybody's feeling better in your neck of the woods. Had flu on my end of the keyboard this week as well but not the swine variety, I don't think.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

With the rainout, the Nationals have a chance to "shuffle the deck-chairs" a little - What about pushing back Cabrera an extra day & moving JZimm up to the #3SP slot? That would have Lannan / Olsen against HOU, JZimm / Cabrera against the LAD, Martis / Lannan / Olsen against ARZ, and JZimm / Cabrera / Martis against SF to finish the west-coast road swing.

Also, with Beimel due back in time for the LA set, who do the Nationals send down - Rivera, Mock, maybe Kensing, or do they DFA either Hinckley or Hanrahan?

Any thoughts?

Posted by: BinM | May 3, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

The Nats told their Ushers about 3:15 they were going to call the game in 10 minutes - my usher gave me a heads up and I was off for the Metro to beat the rush. Get to know your ushers, folks - it's always worth the time.

Posted by: kingrob76 | May 4, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

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