WASHINGTON -- The northernmost arm of Hurricane Matthew brushed up against Nationals Park on Saturday, postponing National League Division Series Game 2 between the Nats and Dodgers. The teams will make up the game at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) Sunday on FS1.
According to the National Weather Service, rain was expected to continue throughout the afternoon in Washington.
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When the forecast "gives you something with 100 percent certainty, that's unusual," Commissioner Rob Manfred said. "We hate to cancel. We hate to make travel worse on the players than it was originally intended to be. But it just doesn't look like we're going to have a situation that would be safe for the players to play."
Though Hurricane Matthew did not hit Washington directly, the system on Saturday extended as far south as South Carolina and as far north as parts of New England. It caused damage along Florida's eastern coastline on Friday, uprooting trees and leaving many without power. Earlier in the week, it seemed possible the hurricane could affect Washington directly, and Saturday brought steady precipitation.
It was enough to postpone Game 2, which was initially scheduled for 4 p.m. ET. Around mid-afternoon, Manfred met with representatives from both clubs, who concluded the best course of action was to postpone the game. Rich Hill and Tanner Roark, Saturday's originally scheduled starters, will both start Game 2 Sunday. From a strategy standpoint, that means neither Hill nor Roark can pitch twice in the series unless they come back on short rest.
"You can't control the weather," Hill said Saturday. "I'm sure everybody would've preferred to get it in today and have the day tomorrow to fly back to L.A. But just get ready for tomorrow and get on the task at hand."
Neither starting pitcher warmed up Saturday, while position players never "completely launched full-bore," in Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy's words.
"Hats off to Major League Baseball for canceling this early," Murphy said. "I'm sure they didn't want either pitcher to get out there and get caught in a situation where you lose one of them, especially in a short series like this."
There will be no additional alterations to the NLDS schedule, which Manfred called "not ideal, but doable." Game 3 is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET/1 PT Monday at Dodger Stadium, while Game 4 is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET/2 PT Tuesday, if necessary.
"We feel confident that the right decision was made, and it'll be a fair playing field for both sides [Sunday]," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Elements won't play a factor, and that's what it was all about."