The Nationals, Phillies and Major League Baseball had multiple meetings this morning to discuss the situation and forecast surrounding today’s series finale.
This game is important to the Phillies, who currently own a one-game lead over the Brewers for the final National League wild card. The Brewers are wrapping up a home series against the Marlins today before welcoming the Diamondbacks for three games. The Phillies head to Houston to play the Astros for three games after finishing here, whenever that is.
With rain forecasted all day, there was talk of possibly moving the start time of this game up to 12:30 p.m. and then 1:05 p.m. from the scheduled 1:35 p.m. start, hoping to find a window to play in before the weather gets worse.
There was a light rain at Nationals Park earlier this morning that they could have played through. But then steady rain and strong winds made conditions unplayable on South Capitol Street for a while.
The tarp is being rolled up and players are starting to loosen up in the outfield, so it looks like they are going to try to start on time. Davey Martinez did not speak with the media before the game as he was still in discussions with the Phillies and the league office.
Because of the importance of this game, the sense is they will wait as long as possible to play it today. The Phillies want to avoid a scenario where they postpone this game and have to come back on Thursday after their Houston series, and then, if they qualify, go to St. Louis to face the Cardinals in the NL Wild Card Series starting Friday.
But if they cannot play today, the only scenario where playing on Thursday would be necessary is if the Phillies are a 1/2 game behind the Brewers in the standings. If they are a 1/2 game up, the Phillies would qualify for the postseason because they own the tiebreaker over the Brewers, rendering the result of a Thursday game meaningless.
Any larger difference either way would also make the game inconsequential as it would not be enough to overcome a multi-game difference.
So for now, we'll watch this game start on time. The question becomes will they be able to finish it without any delays?
* The Nationals are listing Cory Abbott, Paolo Espino and Erick Fedde as their starters against the Mets, who are listing right-handers Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker and TBA.
That means Josiah Gray’s season is over. He finished the year 13-15 with a 5.02 ERA, 1.359 WHIP, 154 strikeouts, a major league-leading 38 home runs allowed and an NL-leading 66 walks in 148 ⅔ innings over 28 starts.
He did finish on a high note, however, holding the Braves to one run and two hits over six strong innings on Wednesday.
* Reed Garrett was spotted in the Nationals clubhouse this morning. No official roster move was made, but the right-hander figures to be a part of a taxi squad traveling with the team to New York.
Garrett has an 8.22 ERA and 2.348 WHIP in 7 ⅔ innings over six appearances with the Nationals this year. He had a 3.04 ERA and 1.225 WHIP in 47 ⅓ innings over 42 games with Triple-A Rochester.
* The Nationals announced the winners of their seventh-annual end-of-season awards as voted on by members of the local media. Outfielder Lane Thomas was voted the 2022 Nationals Player of the Year, while right-hander Erasmo Ramírez was named Pitcher of the Year. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz was given the Good Guy Award, presented to a player for his always-professional dealings with members of the media, his work in the community and for representing the Nationals organization with class both on and off the field.