The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals endured a 3-hour, 10-minute rain delay Thursday night.
The catch? It didn’t rain.
The Braves-Nationals game was initially scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start time but didn’t begin until 10:10 p.m. after Nationals officials decided to delay the first pitch until after a scheduled storm passed.
However, that storm never hit. In fact, for the first two hours of the rain delay it didn’t rain a single drop at Nationals Park, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien.
“Fans leaving in droves. What an experience for them. ‘Went to the #Nats game last night. Left after 1 1/2 hrs of rain delay w/ no rain,’” O’Brien tweeted. “8:35 p.m. Rain delay has reached 1 1/2 hours without so much as a drop of rain. #NatsRainDelay.
“What a circus. MLB needs to step forward and send a directive to teams making it clear they won’t abide by the kind of garbage the #Nats pulled tonight.”
According to O’Brien, “light rain” eventually began to fall only after two hours into the rain delay. O’Brien added it was “light enough that it wouldn’t even stop a normal game if it were being played.”
After nearly three hours following the initial rain delay announcement, the Nationals released an update addressing the situation.
“It is our sincere hope that we will be able to play tonight’s game. The weather system that we have been monitoring is beginning to reach the ballpark and should pass through shortly. It is our hope that once it moves out we will be able to play. Thank you for your patience.”
In order to appease the fans that endured the three-hour rainless delay and stayed at Nationals Park, at the start of the third inning the Nationals announced they would be giving out free novelty ice cream, soda and water throughout the remainder of the game.
“That might have been the loudest I’ve ever heard Nats park with two strikes in the third inning,” Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg tweetwed shortly after the announcement.
Unfortunately, the cheers were short-lived, as even with the low attendance, lines at the various concession stands seemingly went out the park, according to Steinberg.
Ironically, the Mets recently had their series finale against the Nationals on Wednesday postponed due to rain.
Maybe the Nationals are just being (frustratingly) overly cautious as a result.