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.
Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.
Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”
Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.
The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.