Nationals Park just wasn’t able to handle all of the electricity generated by right fielders Yasiel Puig and Bryce Harper facing off. Friday’s game had to be suspended following three lighting delays, and it will be picked up on Saturday.
The problem was with a bank down the left-field line. Play was initially halted for 82 minutes in the fourth, with subsequent delays in the fifth and sixth.
The Nationals were up 3-2 in the sixth when play was officially halted for the night. Both starters had already exited because of the delays. Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed two runs in four innings, while Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger gave up one run in four innings.
Yunel Escobar, not Puig nor Harper, was the offensive star of the contest to date. He had a two-run homer and a double in three at-bats. Adrian Gonzalez homered for the Dodgers.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.