Wednesday night's Los Angeles Dodgers-Cleveland Guardians game was suspended due to rain, and the two teams will play a doubleheader on Thursday with about a 30-minute break in between the contests.
Not ideal. And it's especially frustrating there was a chance it could've been avoided. Instead, Major League Baseball seemingly made a premature call to roll out the tarp and completely wasted a Clayton Kershaw start for the Dodgers, which sets the pitching staff back heading into the weekend against the Boston Red Sox.
The Dodgers led the Guardians 3-1 heading into the top of the third when the groundscrew came out and put the game on hold. It hadn't even started raining yet. Manager Dave Roberts said he was told before the game that a delay could take place around 8:30 p.m. ET, but the tarp was on the field at 7:46.
The rain didn't start for another half hour. The game ended up officially being suspended at 9:40 p.m. ET, so in theory there was time to possibly get three more innings of play in (games become "official" once five innings are in the books).
But the decision was made. When all was said and done, the teams only played two innings, Kershaw only threw 33 pitches, and now the Dodgers and Guardians need to play 16 innings on Thursday before another 11 straight days of baseball for LA.
Dave Roberts calls out MLB over Guardians rain delay that wasted Kershaw start
Roberts wasn't happy about it, either. A valuable outing from Kershaw was nullified and an underperforming bullpen will be taxed before facing the Red Sox, Diamondbacks and Braves (all crucial matchups to determine playoff positioning).
It's especially frustrating because this was Kershaw's third start since coming off the injured list and he needs as much work as possible as the team heads into the stretch run. He's still being built back up after logging 10 total innings and just 138 pitches across his first two outings after missing about a month and a half.
The Dodgers have no scheduled starter for Sunday's finale in Boston because Ryan Pepiot was activated for Thursday in order to help the pitching staff eat innings on what has turned into a marathon of an afternoon.
It's not the worst thing in the world, but MLB time and time again has made bizarre weather decisions that end up adversely affecting the teams and players (this also hurts the Guardians, who play 19 straight games as they try and claw their way back in the AL Central race).
Roberts is right to make his voice heard and hopefully it's a larger offseason conversation.