For about three minutes, Stephen Strasburg was forced to pitch in a downpour with the bases loaded and two outs in the first inning.
Finally, home plate umpire and crew chief Brian Gorman called for a rain delay and brought the grounds crew onto the field.
Nearly as soon as he did so, the rain all but stopped.
The tarp never got rolled out, and the players were quickly called back onto the field. We were all set to resume play, only the three base umpires were still in the tunnel.
Tony Randazzo, Allan Porter and Larry Vanover then sprinted back out to their positions, and on Strasburg’s first pitch after an eight-minute delay, he allowed a two-run single to Padres catcher John Baker.
Weird, wild stuff.
An incredibly bizarre top of the first inning is now in the books, but not before Strasburg allowed three runs and threw 39 pitches. He allowed a bloop double to leadoff hitter Will Venable on a ball that should have been caught in left-center, but fell into the Bermuda Triangle between Roger Bernadina, Rick Ankiel and Ian Desmond. Strasburg then allowed two more hits and two walks.
Things can’t get a whole lot worse for the Nationals today, so let’s hope they get a bit better.
Update: It’s now 4-0 Padres after three innings following James Darnell’s long home run to left off Strasburg.
If you had Darnell going yard off Strasburg today, raise your hand.
Strasburg has now allowed three extra-base hits in three innings today. He’d allowed five all season entering this afternoon’s ballgame.