The Braves were unable to play what would have been the final game of their next-to-last homestand of the regular season Thursday because of a Truist Park infield saturated by rain.
Now they head west for what manager Brian Snitker deems the toughest stretch of the season: an 11-game, three-city road trip that begins in San Francisco on Friday night.
Thursday’s scheduled 12:20 p.m. game against the Colorado Rockies was delayed almost two hours before being postponed when the teams and the umpires agreed it would have been unwise to attempt to play on the soaked field, even if no more rain fell.
“The fact that we played through a tropical storm (Wednesday) night kind of took the field away for (Thursday),” Snitker said. “It was terrible out there. ... It would be like playing on the beach. My opinion is it wasn’t playable.
“I told the umpire early (Thursday) morning, ‘I’m scared to death about putting guys on that field now because that is when they will get hurt.’ … I think we could probably have called this thing at 10 o’clock in the morning.”
As more rain fell Thursday morning, the Braves announced they hoped to start the game about two hours late at 2:15 p.m. But at 2:05, following an infield meeting of the umpires and representatives from both teams, the game was called. “If we had waited until 7 o’clock,” Snitker said, “that field is going to be exactly the same.”
A makeup date wasn’t announced as the Braves and Rockies don’t have a common off-day during the remainder of the regular season. That leaves Oct. 4, the day after the scheduled end of the regular season, as a possible date for the game if it could affect the Braves’ postseason berth at that point.
“They’re looking at that right now as to what’s going to happen,” Snitker said. “That’s up to Major League Baseball.”
For now, the Braves turn their attention to the 11-games-in-10-days trip to San Francisco, Arizona and San Diego. After three games this weekend against the Giants, who have the National League’s best record, the Braves play four games against the Diamondbacks and four games (including the completion of a suspended game from earlier in the season) against the Padres.
Asked how the coming trip compares with other challenging stretches of the schedule this season, Snitker said: “This probably trumps them all as far as looking at what we’re getting ready to get into.”
The Braves left Atlanta for San Francisco with a 3-1/2 game lead in the National League East standings (pending the second-place Philadelphia Phillies’ Thursday night game against the Chicago Cubs). The Braves finished their homestand 4-4 after losing both games played against the Rockies.
Right-hander Ian Anderson (7-5, 3.61 ERA), who was to have been the Braves’ starting pitcher Thursday, instead will start Friday against the NL West-leading Giants, who are scheduled to start right-hander Logan Webb (10-3, 2.80).
The Braves’ top two starters, Charlie Morton (13-5, 3.49) and Max Fried (11-7, 3.47), will be pushed back one day, with Morton now set to start Saturday and Fried on Sunday. The Giants haven’t named a Saturday starter and plan to pitch right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (12-6, 3.24) on Sunday.
By not playing Thursday, the Braves won’t have to use a No. 5 starter, who otherwise would have been needed Sunday, against the Giants.
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Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com