Rotation pushed back after finale postponed

Infield unplayable Thursday after teams played through rain Wednesday night

September 16th, 2021

ATLANTA -- By remaining determined to play through the rain that drenched Truist Park on Wednesday night, the Braves prevented themselves from playing Thursday afternoon’s game. 

While that might sound something like a riddle, it was a reality. The Braves postponed Thursday’s series finale against the Rockies after representatives from both clubs and umpires evaluated what remained a saturated and seemingly unplayable infield on Thursday afternoon. 

“The fact we played through a tropical storm last night kind of took the field away from us today,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It was terrible out there. It was all top dress [drying agent], so it would be like playing on the beach.”

With no common off-days the rest of the regular season, postponing this series finale was something everybody wanted to avoid. But the unplayable conditions have created the possibility that if necessary to determine Atlanta’s postseason bid, this game would be made up on Oct. 4, a day after the last scheduled regular-season game. 

Making that potential makeup game even less appealing is that the Rockies would have to travel from Phoenix to Atlanta to end their season. 

“We kind of knew when [Wednesday’s] game was over and they covered the field, there was never going to be any time for that [infield] to dry,” Snitker said. “They put all the top dressing on this morning. If you went through all the top dressing, you ended up on mud.”

Rain fell throughout the 3-2, 10-inning defeat the Braves took on Wednesday night. The grounds crew had to provide repairs multiple times. It wasn’t a pretty scene, but the two clubs were determined to play the game because rain was also in the forecast throughout much of Thursday.

In hindsight, it may have been wiser to gamble on playing a doubleheader on Thursday. But Snitker didn’t agree with that assessment.  

“I think we did the right thing quite honestly,” Snitker said. “As of yesterday, all I got was [the weather] was going to be just as bad or worse today.”  

Around noon, the Braves announced the start of Thursday’s game had been pushed from 12:20 p.m. ET to 2:15 p.m. ET. The tarp was placed on the field, but the hope was the field might still dry over the course of two hours. Snitker didn’t seem to share that hope.  

“I think we could have called this thing at 10 o’clock this morning, knowing it wasn’t going to get better,” Snitker said.  

One positive development for the Braves is the fact that they no longer have to use the fifth spot in their rotation during this weekend’s series in San Francisco. Thursday’s scheduled starter Ian Anderson will start Friday’s series opener at Oracle Park. Charlie Morton and Max Fried are scheduled to start the final two games of the series. This also makes Fried available to start during the following weekend in San Diego.  

The Braves will have at least a three-game lead in the National League East when they begin their series against the Giants. It will mark the start of an 11-game road trip that will include stops in San Francisco, Arizona and San Diego.  

Asked how the trek west compares to some previous tough stretches on the schedule, Snitker said, “This probably trumps them all.”