The ballad of the 2018 Phillies season has taken yet another strange, and embarrassing, turn.
After a weekend of rain and a tarp mishap on Friday night, the infield surface at Citizens Bank Park was deemed unplayable resulting in the cancellation of tonight’s game against the Washington Nationals.
The game has been postponed. Doubleheader tomorrow starting at 3:05 p.m.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) September 10, 2018
Members of the grounds crew worked for hours this afternoon after finding the infield dirt so soaked that they had to break out five blowtorches in an attempt to dry the field.
The Phillies have five flamethrowers drying the infield. pic.twitter.com/Gh8RMhwqmm— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) September 10, 2018
Phillies groundskeepers are using two flamethrowers to try to get the infield dirt ready in an effort to make the field playable for tonight’s game vs. the Nationals pic.twitter.com/ywwfE6NqDp— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) September 10, 2018
Phillies officials say an unexpected deluge of rain on Friday night, with the infield turf uncovered, was the culprit.
The problem was after leaving the tarp off over Friday night and getting way more rain than expected, they then had to keep the tarp on Saturday and Sunday because it kept raining. So they couldn’t work on the field until the rain slowed this afternoon. https://t.co/wNxO6uzOFA— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) September 10, 2018
Shortly before the scheduled first pitch, both managers and other officials gathered on the infield dirt to discuss the viability of playing the game tonight, but it seemed clear it wasn’t going to happen.
Adam Eaton took a few steps around the third base area. His foot sunk in. He called the dirt “squishy”. His footprints are still very visible five minutes later. This is not good.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) September 10, 2018
Gabe Kapler just tried to run the basepaths. Here's hoping everyone decides he and Davey need to race to adequately test this out.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) September 10, 2018
Hey, the good news is Bryce Harper at least seems invested in helping maintain his future home.
The way things have been going for the Phils lately, perhaps this isn’t the worst thing that could have happened.
And frankly, I think we all know who’s to blame here.
Tonight’s incident is, of course, reminiscent of 2001, when an Eagles preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at the Vet had to be cancelled because of lumps and ripples in the turf, a truly embarrassing moment for the city. This one ain’t much better.
And not for nothin’, getting two games in tomorrow isn’t going to be a walk in the park either.
And yes, there’s a 90 percent chance of rain tomorrow.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) September 10, 2018
Get those flamethrowers handy.