McCoy: Reds trail Nationals in game suspended after long rain delay

Washington leads 3-0 in fourth; game will resume today at 2:05 p.m.

They waited an unfathomable two hours and 40 minutes through a rainstorm Wednesday night in Nationals Park before finally at 11:40 p.m. they suspended play.

The Washington Nationals led the Cincinnati Reds, 3-0, before the start of the bottom of the fourth inning when the rains came.

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After the protracted delay, they call it off.

Play will resume Thursday afternoon at 2:05, picking up where they left off. Then, at 7:05, Thursday’s scheduled game will be played, but it will be only a seven-inning game.

Reds starter Jeff Hoffman was up to his neck in troubled waters from the game’s first pitch, before it even began to rain.

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman (23) throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals in Washington, Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman (23) throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals in Washington, Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta

Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta

He barely survived 1 1/3 innings and left in the second inning with an injury and the team trailing, 2-0. And it could have been worse.

He walked the second hitter in the first inning. Josh Bell slapped an opposite field two-strike single against the shift. And Bell was 5 for 7 for his career against Hoffman.

With two outs, Starlin Castro singled for a run. Hoffman walked the next two on 3-and-2 counts. The second walk was to catcher Alex Avila, batting .173. And it forced in a second run.

The bases were still loaded with two outs. Despite the fact Hoffman had walked two straight and three in the inning, Andrew Stephenson swung at the first pitch and flied to right.

It was more of the same for Hoffman in the second. With one out, he walked two more. After the second one, his fifth, manager David Bell and athletic trainer Steve Baumann visited the mound and Hoffman was removed with a shoulder injury.

Brad Brach replaced Hoffman and with two outs Kyle Schwarber was credited with an infield hit when second baseman Jonathan India hesitated on his throw to first.

That filled the bases again and opposing pitcher Joe Ross poked an 0-and-2 pitch to right field for a run and a 3-0 Nationals lead.

The Reds put two runners on in the first on a single by Jesse Winker and a walk to Tyler Naquin. But Tyler Stephenson was retired on a sharp grounder to third.

They put two on in the second on back-to-back one-out singles by Kyle Farmer and India. Hoffman tried to bunt but forced Farmer at third and Eugenio Suarez grounded to shortstop.

The Reds went 1-2-3 against Ross in the fourth and the skies opened with thunder rumbling and lightning dancing. The tarp was placed on the field and the long, long delay began.