Rain stinks, winning doesn't
In nine seasons of covering baseball, I’ve seen rain delays, rainouts, snow outs and delays from because of power failure and even for $1 hot dogs being pelted onto the Metrodome field at former Twin Chuck Knoblauch, but I’ve never seen anything like what went down on Tuesday night.
Heavy showers moved through and delayed the Reds and Braves in the top of the third inning for one hour, 54 minutes. Although it was still raining, but much lighter, umpire crew chief Joe West made the call to pull the tarp and play. First we were told it would be 20 minutes to resume, then 10 p.m. ET and then it was 9:50 p.m. Play actually restarted at 9:49 p.m. ET. The outfield warning track may have resembled the Ohio River, but it was game on anyway.
Pitchers were warmed up. Daniel Herrera took over for starter Aaron Harang and got three outs just as showers intensified. Play lasted all of six minutes before the tarp was back out and another delay was called. As soon as the tarp was spread out, the rain pretty much stopped.
Regardless of the outcome for the Reds, the stars of the game are head groundskeeper Doug Gallant and his crew. They had performed under less than savory conditions. Hopefully there was enough quickdry to get them through the game and some “cold ones” for after the game.
By the way, that was the 10th rain delay for the Reds this season — seven of them have been at GABP. This time they came out of the other side with a sorely needed victory — 7-2 over Atlanta. It snapped a four-game losing streak and was some nice tonic after the 2-4 debacle of a road trip.
Unfortunately, it was all for naught for Harang. He started threw two innings and had to pack it in because of the rain. In the first inning, he was dealing — 13 pitches, 13 strikes. He fanned Brian McCann with a 94 mph fastball to end the first.
“I felt good from the get-go,” Harang said. “I worked on some things in the bullpen between starts. Everything was clicking.”
“That’s the best Aaron has thrown this year,” manager Dusty Baker said. “With velocity, location everything, he was on his way to an excellent ballgame. I hope he remembers that and keeps that tempo and that rhythm and takes it out there next time. Boy that was a very good ballgame that turned for our sake.
Herrera pitched three scoreless innings and earned the win — and a shaving cream pie in the face from Harang.
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