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Weather Delays Braves-Padres

National League: Rain, lighting make teams play a waiting game.

October 08, 1998|From Associated Press

ATLANTA — Steady rain, lightning and the threat of severe weather delayed the start of Game 1 of the NL championship series Wednesday night between the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves.

The tarp was on the field at the scheduled start time of 8:15 p.m. EDT and thunder rumbled about 20 minutes later. Rain, which began about an hour before the scheduled start, was expected until at least 10 p.m.

There has never been a rainout in the two-year history of Turner Field. A few thousand fans sat under umbrellas in their seats during the delay, watching the AL playoff game between the Yankees and Cleveland on the center-field scoreboard.

The last postponement in the postseason came at Game 1 of the 1996 World Series between the Braves and Yankees in New York. There was, however, a three-hour rain delay last week in the middle of a playoff game between the Yankees and Rangers in Texas.

A rainout would force the Padres and Braves to play Game 1 on Thursday night at 8:15 p.m. They would then play Game 2 on Friday, which was supposed to be a travel day, at 4 p.m. in Atlanta.

Andy Ashby was supposed to pitch the opener for the Padres against John Smoltz. But a one-day delay would give San Diego the option of switching to its ace, Kevin Brown, to start the opener instead of Game 2.

"If we feel like a change is sort of better, we'll do it," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said.

Braves manager Bobby Cox planned to stick with his rotation of Smoltz, followed by Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux.

In the meantime, there was nothing for the players to do but wait while the rain fell. The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for areas around Atlanta.

"There will be a lot of card games, I'm sure," Glavine said. "And for other guys, just watching TV.

"No matter what you're doing, you have an eye on the game resuming, and in your mind you're mentally prepared for that," he said. "But in order to pass the time, I think, again, cards, crossword puzzles, whatever is in there."

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