WASHINGTON — The San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals will play a split doubleheader on Sunday after their series opener Friday night was postponed.
Rain delayed the game for almost three hours before the team announced it was being called. Giants players were already leaving the stadium several minutes before the announcement was made, a half-hour lag in Major League Baseball informing the teams and fans getting the notice.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy was informed around 9:15 of the postponement, which was announced on the Nationals’ Twitter account and in the press box at 9:47 and in the stadium at 9:52.
“If I put nine guys out there, do I win?” Bochy said, jokingly.
Giants players were already in street clothes talking to family and friends and walking toward the team buses before the game was announced as postponed. Bochy spoke to reporters before the announcement was made.
The latest bizarre weather situation comes at Nationals Park, which famously had a three-hour, no-rain rain delay against the Atlanta Braves on July 6. That game started after 10 p.m., with a sparse crowd in attendance, a repeat that was spared Friday night.
Bochy was set to give catcher Buster Posey a rare day off Friday and said he’ll keep him out of the lineup Saturday.
The Nationals and Giants will play at 1:05 and 7:05 p.m. Sunday.
BAKER AND BOCHY
As a result of the rainout, Nationals manager Dusty Baker will have to wait another day to catch Bochy on the all-time wins list. Bochy leads all active managers with 1,835 victories, and though Baker has a higher regular-season winning percentage, Bochy has three World Series rings.
Along with being rivals, Baker and Bochy are friends. Baker said Bochy was the first one to call him when he was fired by Cincinnati, and Baker called in April when Bochy had a heart procedure.
“I don’t think he has any fear,” Baker said. “He knows what he’s doing. He’s got some brains in that big ol’ head he’s got. He’s a smart man.”
Bochy succeeded Baker as Giants manager in 2007 and has enjoyed facing him for the better part of two decades.
“We enjoy our battles and being competitive against each other,” Bochy said. “I have tremendous respect for Dusty.”
Giants: Bochy said closer Mark Melancon could be activated Saturday. Melancon has been on the disabled list with a right forearm strain since June 28 and had two strikeouts in an inning during a rehab assignment with Class-A San Jose on Wednesday.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg, who has been on the DL with a right elbow injury since late July, could go on a rehab assignment early next week.
Giants RHP Chris Stratton (0-2, 6.63 ERA) starts Saturday night against Nationals RHP Edwin Jackson (2-2, 7.34).