How the Nationals killed off a three-hour rain delay

Chris Lingebach
June 18, 2019 - 4:56 pm

Sean Doolittle, during his weekly 106.7 The Fan appearance Tuesday, took fans inside the home clubhouse as the Nationals waited out an extended rain delay in anticipation of their game against the Phillies the night before.

Approximately three hours passed before before Monday's game was finally called and rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader for Wednesday.

What's going on from a player's perspective during the delay?

"Yesterday was tough because it looked like for a long time throughout the pregame, like we felt like we were gonna get it in," the Nationals closer said on 106.7 The Fan. Doolittle joins Grant & Danny each Tuesday at 11:45. for Closing Time with Sean Doolittle, presented by Lindsay Volvo Cars of Alexandria.

"And then I think it was like maybe – what? – like 6:40 they came and told us we were in a delay," Doolittle said. "That's around the time I start like an active warmup, like right around the beginning of the game that takes like the first three or four innings to get through. It helps me loosen up when I have to start moving around in the sixth or seventh inning."

"So I was about to start that and they came and told everybody that we're in a delay. It's tough because, in the beginning of a delay like that, you don't want to fully let your guard down," he said. "Because they're like, alright, they're gonna have another meeting at 7:15 and then we'll see where we're at.

"And so you're like, alright, well we might not be delayed that long. And then after that meeting, they're like, 'We're gonna meet again at 7:45 and we'll have something for you then.' There were a lot of meetings last night and a lot of updates with, well, I guess not a lot of updating."

And what are players actually doing to pass the time?

"Everybody's different," Doolittle said. "I found a quiet spot in the corner of the weight room back there and I was watching some of the College World Series. Some guys were watching the Yankees-Rays game. Some guys take an opportunity to do some homework, watch some film.

"But everybody's kind of, you know you still have your uniform on, and that way, when they say, 'Hey, they're gonna pull the tarp and we're gonna start in a half an hour,' guys can kick it into gear pretty quickly." 

Catch the full interview on Grant & Danny's podcast page.