Braves, Rockies face schedule headache after postponement

Sep 15, 2021, 11:26 PM | Updated: Sep 16, 2021, 11:58 am
Members of the Atlanta Braves grounds crew work to cover the infield before a baseball game between...

Members of the Atlanta Braves grounds crew work to cover the infield before a baseball game between Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies was cancelled because of rain Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have new incentive to take care of business in the National League East as quickly as possible.

The Braves don’t want their playoff status to be determined by a makeup game against a Colorado Rockies team which has been tough to beat at Truist Park.

The Rockies-Braves game was postponed on Thursday due to a soggy field caused by rain. A makeup date was not immediately announced, but it’s possible the game could be played on Oct. 4, the day after the final scheduled game of the regular season.

The Rockies won the first two games of the series and are 10-2 at Truist Park since the stadium opened in 2017.

The NL East-leading Braves entered Thursday 3 1/2 games ahead of second-place Philadelphia.

The start of the game was pushed back almost 2 hours in hopes the wet field would become playable. There was more rain Thursday morning following steady rain Wednesday night.

There was only occasional light rain during the delay before the game finally was postponed, but the damage to the field had been done.

Braves manager Brian Snitker, who joined Rockies manager Bud Black and other officials in an on-field meeting to inspect playing conditions, said the field was not safe.

“The fact we played through a tropical storm last night kind of took away the field for today,” Snitker said. “In my opinion, the field wasn’t playable.”

The teams are not scheduled to play again this season and don’t have matching days off. Each team wanted to play the game as scheduled Thursday, if possible, though they also had to consider travel plans for Friday games.

Atlanta is off for a three-game series in San Francisco, while Colorado was due to start a set in Washington on Friday.

Rockies interim general manager Bill Schmidt and Braves chairman Terry McGuirk met with umpire CB Bucknor, Braves field director Ed Mangan, Snitker and Black on the field before the decision was made to postpone the game.

Snitker said the decision to postpone the game was “pretty unanimous.”

“We just didn’t want to take a chance,” Snitker said, adding the infield was especially dangerous.

Black didn’t speak with reporters following the decision.

Snitker acknowledged the field probably looked better to fans sitting in the stands than upon close inspection.

“I talked to the umpire early today and said I’m scared to death of putting guys on the field because that’s when guys will get hurt,” Snitker said.

Snitker said the possible Oct. 4 makeup date would be determined by Major League Baseball. The game likely would not be necessary if the Braves were already locked into a playoff spot.

The Rockies are slated to play their last regular season game at Arizona on Oct. 3, making for a potentially long flight for the one makeup game, if needed.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves RHP Chris Martin (right elbow inflammation) was reinstated from the 10-day injured list. RHP Luke Jackson was placed on the paternity list. Martin was placed on the IL on Sept. 2 and threw a perfect inning for Triple-A Gwinnett in a rehab outing Tuesday.

RUGGED ROAD TRIP

Snitker says the Braves are about to begin their most difficult road trip of the season.

Following three games at NL West-leading San Francisco, the 10-game trip continues with four games at Arizona, followed by three games at San Diego.

“This probably trumps them all as far as looking at what we’re getting ready to get into,” Snitker said.

UP NEXT

Rockies: Colorado’s road trip continues on Friday when Germán Márquez (12-10, 3.93), who had been scheduled to pitch on Thursday, will start the opener of a three-game series at Washington.

Braves: In a matchup of division leaders, Atlanta opens its set at San Francisco on Friday with RHP Ian Anderson (7-5, 3.61) scheduled to start. Anderson was Thursday’s scheduled starter.

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Braves, Rockies face schedule headache after postponement