Tarp issues cause Orioles-Nationals game to be suspended; Pitcher Jorge Lopez added - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Tarp issues cause Orioles-Nationals game to be suspended; Pitcher Jorge Lopez added

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

WASHINGTON—After waiting more than two hours, the Orioles and Washington Nationals will have to wait until Friday to complete Sunday’s game. Because of  a malfunctioning tarp, the grounds crew wasn’t able to cover the field after a pop-up shower, and it was determined that the field was unplayable.

The Orioles were trying for their first three-game road sweep since August 25-27, 2017 in Boston and had a 5-2 lead when the rain came in the top of the sixth inning.

The game will be resumed Friday at Oriole Park before the regularly scheduled Nationals-Orioles game. Washington will be the home team.

“The field was unplayable,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “There’s a rule in there … if there’s a mechanical failure with the tarp, the game is suspended. They can’t get the field ready to play. That’s what happened.”

Hyde said all parties agreed the field was unplayable. He also said he was unaware of the rule that a mechanical failure can cause a suspension.

“There were some soft areas,” Hyde said of the field.

The rain began falling heavily and play was called at 2:41 p.m. The Nationals Park grounds crew attempted to cover the field, but the tarp got tangled and for 20 minutes. By the time they were able to cover the field, the rain had stopped, and the infield was a quagmire.

For more than 90 minutes, the grounds crew worked on the field but it had taken on too much rain.

“It’s disappointing that we had the lead, and I felt good about the bullpen situation the last half of the game,” Hyde said. “It’s disappointing we couldn’t finish it today.”


With John Means on bereavement leave after the death of his father, and the Orioles needing a starter. Hyde called on Asher Wojciechowski, who pitched five innings in the second games of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

Wojciechowski was pulled after 3 2/3 scoreless innings with runners on first and second.

Stephen Strasburg, in his first start of 2020, allowed singles to Hanser Alberto in the first and Dwight Smith Jr. in the second, but pitched four scoreless innings.

In the fifth with one out, Austin Hays and Chance Sisco singled, Pat Valaika walked, and Hays scored on Bryan Holaday’s single.

Alberto doubled just past third base, scoring Sisco and Valaika. Anthony Santander, who hit a three-run home run in Saturday night’s five-run eighth inning, hit a two-run single for another five-run inning.

“It feels like about six hours ago,” Hyde said about the fifth inning. “We really battled well. Strasburg was good the first four. We got to him in the fifth. It was a real gutsy performance by our starter, Wojo, escaping some trouble early, pitching into the fourth inning. He did a really nice job.”

Travis Lakins, who relieved Wojciechowski and retired Yan Gomes on a fly to Hays in center, could get the win if the Orioles hang on.

Shawn Armstrong, who won Saturday night’s game with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, gave up a two-run home run to Starlin Castro in the fifth, cutting the Orioles’ lead to 5-2.

Sisco had just walked with one out in the sixth, putting runners on first and second when time was called.

“Our guys were ready to play,” Hyde said. “It’s just unfortunate that things happened the way they happened. Sometimes you have to deal with some adversity. Life throws you curveballs. We’ll finish the game up next weekend.”

Orioles claim Lopez: The Orioles claimed right-handed pitcher Jorge López on waivers from the Kansas City Royals. Lopez, a 27-year-old right-hander, was a second-round choice by Milwaukee in 2011.

Lopez, who was designated for assignment by the Royals, allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning in his only appearance of the season on July 25th.

In parts of five seasons with the Brewers and Kansas City, Lopez is 7-15 with a 5.97 ERA.

Lopez’s addition fills the 40-man roster and 60-man player pool.

Severino sits: Catcher Pedro Severino was hit on his left wrist in the ninth inning of Saturday’s game. Holaday started on Sunday.

“He’s pretty sore from last night,” Hyde said. Chris Davis and José Iglesias were rested with the Orioles off on Monday. Hyde mentioned that he wanted to rest Iglesias, who has missed time because of a sore quad.

Coming up: After Monday’s offday, the Orioles play three games at Philadelphia beginning Tuesday. Alex Cobb and Zack Wheeler are the scheduled pitchers on Tuesday. It’s Wade LeBlanc and Zach Elfin on Wednesday, and the Orioles haven’t decided on their pitcher for Thursday afternoon’s game, which begins at 4:05. Jake Arrieta will pitch for the Phillies.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. CalsPals

    August 9, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Do we really need another pitcher with about a 6.00 era…just when you thought…go O’s…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 9, 2020 at 8:07 pm

      Yeah, I don’t get it either. Elias works in very unconventional ways, who are we to question?

    • NormOs

      August 10, 2020 at 11:04 am

      As usual, the Os pick another “Nugget” from their other farm team, the waiver wire, and came up with a guy that, in order to win, the Os will have to average 7 (seven) runs per game. Good one, Genius 1! The other farm team is Ta Da….Rule 5. I wonder whatever happened to hiring real major league ballplayers?

      • charless

        August 10, 2020 at 12:56 pm

        I joined.

      • WorldlyView

        August 10, 2020 at 3:41 pm

        Let’s look at the larger picture. First, Lopez’s ERA for this season is 27.00, so one could argue that in theory the Os will have to score 28 runs to win when he is pitching. However, it’s not necessarily true that we would have to average even 7 runs as Norm suggests: It’s not likely that Jorge will last 9 innings and that’s what the ERA is based on.
        On the other hand, this guy (very) sporadically pitched masterfully for KC. He was originally projected to be a top-line starting pitcher. Given the level of improbability that has characterized the O’s season so far, it is not all that far-fetched to think that he could reclaim his mojo and pitch well here. Just don’t bet big on it.

        • NormOs

          August 11, 2020 at 6:59 am

          That sparkling 27.00 ERA is what drew Genius 1 to grab this “pitcher” off waivers. Stats don’t lie. On the other hand, he’ll, most likely, have a lot of ERA company with this bullpen, or is he a starter? Sometimes (actually, most of the time), Genius 1 doesn’t do too many things to evoke confidence in his decisions. Go Os!

  2. ClayDal

    August 9, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    If Manfred had a spine, he would award the game to the Orioles. This reminds me of the Pine Tar game 1983. The letter of the law says “mechanical malfunction “. There was nothing wrong with the tarp. It was rolled up improperly the last time it was used. The home team is responsible for the upkeep of their field. Nationals shouldn’t benefit from the gross incompetence of their ground crew. I realize if the Orioles were behind we would feel differently, but again, the home team should not benefit from their own incompetence. Of course Manfred won’t do anything. Never thought I would be nostalgic for Bowie Kuhn

    • CalsPals

      August 9, 2020 at 5:54 pm

      Agree, O’s have been on the short end of everything this weird season, they’ve been ready to play & had to postpone games, wasn’t the idea of the larger roster & +3 so stuff like that didn’t happen?…man child doesn’t really seem to be very good at making decisions, wants to please everyone…that doesn’t work for anyone in charge…go O’s…

    • cedar

      August 9, 2020 at 6:10 pm

      Baseball has so many detailed rules. This is one that needs to be removed. In this weird season, with 30 and 28 man rosters, a team not playing for 10 days, and 7 inning double headers, the MLB should be happy the teams got 6 innings in and out it in the books.

    • ClayDal

      August 9, 2020 at 6:17 pm

      Thinking of other examples. Senators last game in DC in 1971. Fans got unruly, game forfeited to the Yankees. 10 cent Beer Night in Cleveland. That game was forfeited. Anti-Disco Night in Chicago. This was a failure of the Nationals ground crew. The Nationals need to be held responsible. The game should be forfeited to the Orioles

    • BirdsCaps

      August 9, 2020 at 9:55 pm

      Heck I’m nostalgic for the good old days when Bud Selig was commissioner!

    • 66OsFan

      August 10, 2020 at 2:05 pm

      So by that logic, a certain game back in 1994 should have been forfeited to the Seattle Mariners and a certain streak ended, since a certain player was not at the ballpark when the game was ready to begin, or so the rumor goes, when an electrical “malfunction” occurred and the lights went out at OPACY??

    • ClayDal

      August 10, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      Home team is responsible for the grounds crew. Not responsible for the electric grid connected to the ballpark. There was nothing wrong with the tarp. It was just rolled up improperly by the grounds crew

  3. Bhoffman1

    August 9, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    I didn’t realize game was suspended for malfunctioning tarp. Bad luck a win is a win anyway you take it. What’s more important having three catchers or 4 real outfielders. Will they keep on playing with a guy who hitting below 100 as the fourth outfielder

  4. Orioles fan 4weaver

    August 9, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    It was an official game. The rain caused the field to be unplayable. Game over! Orioles Win! Period.

  5. beritsun

    August 9, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    Anyone could see when the grounds crew came out with the tarp, that it had not been rolled up properly after its last use. It was a sloppy, wrinkled mess! That’s not a tarp malfunction, rather human error. The game should have been an official one, and an Oriole sweep!! Seems unfair that the Nats benefit from the incompetence of their grounds crew!!

    • Bhoffman1

      August 9, 2020 at 6:57 pm

      Home field decision. Plus MLB rather see the Nats in the playoffs obviously over the O’s

    • CalsPals

      August 9, 2020 at 8:50 pm

      MASN conspiracy…go O’s…

  6. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 9, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    It’s Trump’s fault.

  7. garyintheloo

    August 9, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    What happened to Caesar Valdez? He was said to look good in both spring and summer training and surprised some when sent down to Bowie. Is he injured? He seems like a better option than another refurbished player.

    • CalsPals

      August 9, 2020 at 7:56 pm

      Making coffee with Juan…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 9, 2020 at 8:09 pm

        He’s the most interesting man in the locker room.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 9, 2020 at 8:12 pm

      Valdez is at Bowie, Gary.

    • NormOs

      August 10, 2020 at 1:35 pm

      “Valdez is Coming” (old Burt Lancaster movie)

  8. garyintheloo

    August 9, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Hyde should take note that longtime manager Gene Mauch would always read the rule book between 2:30 and 3 pm before night games. That is what got him to popularize double switches.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 9, 2020 at 8:13 pm

      He told me about that once, Gary.

  9. BirdsCaps

    August 9, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    2020 just keeps rolling. That was one of the funniest things that I’ve seen while watching a ballgame. Good thing the grounds crew had masks on to protect their identities and not ruin any chance of future employment as a groundskeeper. PS, how much longer until we have to start looking at the birds seriously? With the additional playoff teams they might have a shot if they keep this up. However, I’m still going to give it a few weeks until i get my hopes up.

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