Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
A massive storm hit Citizens Bank Park in the seventh inning today.
There's no official update on Strasburg yet this morning, though at this moment he's at the ballpark and there are rumblings he may actually conduct some type of light workout before heading back to Washington to get an MRI on his forearm. I'd caution against anyone drawing any conclusions yet, though, because this could mean anything.
You can, however, draw some conclusions on the weather here in Philadelphia. Namely, it's not good. It began raining a little while ago, and it's only supposed to get worse. The forecast shows anywhere from a 60 percent to a 100 percent chance of thunderstorms until 7 p.m. That doesn't look promising.
We'll have to see whether they'll try to wait this out all day, or whether they might just call it off early. The Nats return here September 17-19, so a Saturday doubleheader wouldn't be too difficult to cobble together.
If they do play, Scott Olsen will be attempting to pitch the Nationals to a rare series victory in this ballpark. The Phillies sent No. 2 ace Roy Oswalt to the hill, but the Nats have had plenty of success against him this season, both when he was still in Houston and when he made his Phillies debut last month.
Check back throughout the day for updates both on Strasburg's condition and the weather...
NATIONALS at PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m.
TV: Ch. 50, MASN
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Thunderstorms, 80 degrees, Wind 12 mph out to RF
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
1B Adam Dunn
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Roger Bernadina
RF Michael Morse
2B Adam Kennedy
C Wil Nieves
P Scott Olsen
SS Jimmy Rollins
LF Raul Ibanez
3B Placido Polanco
1B Ryan Howard
RF Jayson Werth
CF Shane Victorino
C Carlos Ruiz
2B Wilson Valdez
P Roy Oswalt
12:25 p.m. -- An update on Stephen Strasburg is up on the homepage, so be sure to check that out. I'll have a full story with quotes coming up in a little while on CSNwashington.com.
12:28 p.m. -- Your weather update: The tarp has been on the field all morning and remains there, though Phillies officials are saying there should be a window of clearing right around 1:30 that should allow the game to begin on-time. It would then be a question of whether the game can be completed without interruption.
1:09 p.m. -- The tarp has been rolled up, and the grounds crew has been working on the infield for a while. Both starting pitchers are getting loose in the outfield and should move to the bullpens shortly. Looks like we'll be starting on time.
1:37 p.m. -- And we're underway with a ball from Roy Oswalt to Nyjer Morgan.
1:48 p.m. -- Nyjer led things off promisingly, with a base hit to left. He then swiped second without a throw. But the big boys couldn't get the job done. After Ian Desmond grounded out to short, moving Nyjer to third, Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman each struck out. Runner stranded at third. Scoreless as we go to the bottom of the first.
1:55 p.m. -- Just like the Nats, the Phillies put their leadoff man on second and advanced him to third with one out. Unlike the Nats, the Phillies actually completed the job. Placido Polanco (is there a more professional hitter in the game right now than this guy?) sent a fly ball to center, bringing Jimmy Rollins home and putting Philadelphia up 1-0 after one.
2:20 p.m. -- Nice double play turned by Adam Kennedy and Ian Desmond to end the second and prevent the Phillies from scoring their second run. It's still 1-0 as we head to the third.
2:31 p.m. -- Three innings in, and the Nats have had plenty of chances against Oswalt. They've gotten a leadoff single each inning, and they've had a man in scoring position with less than two outs each inning. But they're now 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, not an encouraging start to the afternoon from an offensive standpoint.
2:58 p.m. -- Bad things come in 3's ... 1) the Phillies have taken a 2-0 lead thanks to Polanco's RBI single in the top of the third, 2) the Nats are now 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, thanks to Morse and Kennedy striking out with a man on third in the top of the fourth, 3) it's started raining.
3:26 p.m. -- Adam Dunn is strugg-a-ling. He's now 0-for-3 with two strikeouts today, prolonging a slump that is growing in size. Over his last 13-plus games, Dunn is now 6-for-48 with one homer, one RBI and 22 strikeouts. His average has plummeted from .280 to .263 over that span. Nats still trail 2-0 as we go to the bottom of the sixth.
3:43 p.m. -- You just had a feeling Scott Olsen wasn't going to hold the Phillies in check all afternoon. He made it through five innings allowing only two runs, but he just doubled the output in the sixth, putting the Phillies up 4-0. The rally might have been prevented had the Nats been able to turn a difficult 3-6-3 or 3-6-1 double play on Jayson Werth's one-out grounder. Neither Olsen nor Dunn went to cover first, though even if one had, it would have been a difficult double play to turn. Still, that kept the inning alive for Shane Victorino, who doubled to left. Carlos Ruiz was intentionally walked, and little-used Wilson Valdez followed with a two-run single to center. So it's now 4-0 as we head to the seventh, with the Nats showing little chance of getting to Oswalt.
3:47 p.m. -- Uh, the TVs in the press box just were overtaken by the Emergency Broadcast System, announcing a tornado warning in the city of Philadelphia and surrounding area. The game is continuing to be played, and fans have been told nothing of this impending doom. Wouldn't you think they'd want to clear everyone out before the thing hits?
3:52 p.m. -- And now, just before Craig Stammen can start warming up for the bottom of the seventh, they've called for the tarp. Fans instructed to leave open areas of stands. We are officially in a rain delay, Phillies up 4-0.
4:44 p.m. -- The rain has stopped at last and the grounds crew is out clearing standing water off the tarp. There are massive puddles all over the place, though, and it's going to take a while to squeegee it all. But they certainly look like they're going to resume this game at some point.
5:07 p.m. -- The tarp is finally being pulled off the infield. Still lots of standing water in the outfield and on the warning track.
5:12 p.m. -- Game will resume at 5:35 p.m.
5:36 p.m. -- And we're back, with Craig Stammen facing Jimmy Rollins in the bottom of the seventh and the Nats still trailing 4-0. Delay totaled 1 hour and 44 minutes.
5:42 p.m. -- And Raul Ibanez takes Stammen deep to make it 6-0.
6:18 p.m. -- Game over. Nats lose 6-0. Olsen falls to 3-6.