8:02 p.m.: Rain starts to fall at Nationals Park.
8:04 p.m.: Play is halted. I’m not kidding. Here’s how it looked.
8:14 p.m.: Rain is done.
8:19 p.m.: Tarp comes off the field.
The first rain delay of the year at Nationals Park was one of the quickest, and weirdest, I’ve ever seen. When it started raining, fans went running for cover, shrieking the whole way, as water shot sideways to the north. It looked like it was being blown by a giant industrial fan from behind home plate. Adjectives ranged from epic to theatrical to apocalyptic.
And just like that, it was gone.
After the Nationals spent something like a day and a half in rain delays last year - and with the temperature hovering somewhere near 137 degrees - a delay like that is fine with me.
Now, the question is whether it will be done quick enough that the Nationals can put Luis Atilano back on the mound. He was rolling through four innings, giving up just two hits, and right now, we’ve only been delayed for 20 minutes - or the equivalent of a long inning. But the Nationals had rallied for two runs on four hits in the fourth, and they’ll still be up when the game resumes, so it could be something like an hour between pitches for Atilano. It would be tough for the Nationals to lose him, since he was pitching so well, but they’ve at least got an eight-man bullpen to absorb the work.
We should be back underway here shortly.