Unplayable conditions postpone Rangers' game
No makeup date announced; clubs will play just one contest Thursday afternoon
ARLINGTON -- A massive thunderstorm that roared through the Ballpark in Arlington around 5:45 p.m. CT left the field unplayable and forced postponement of Wednesday's game between the Rangers and the D-backs.
Rangers president Nolan Ryan and the two managers -- Ron Washington and Arizona's Kirk Gibson -- inspected the field shortly before 8 p.m. and decided to postpone the game.
"The third-base area and the third-base line were certainly too soft," Washington said. "The first-base line is too soft, too. Nobody wants to lose an off-day and nobody wants to play a doubleheader, but ... you don't want to hurt anybody."
The game will be made up on a mutual off-day, most likely one of the first three Thursdays in August. Fans with tickets to Wednesday's game should hold on to them until the makeup game is determined. A doubleheader on Thursday was not considered after the two teams played one on Monday in Arizona.
"There were a lot of portions of the field that weren't good," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "They're not going to get it right by just putting turf on it and taking it off. They've got to put spikes in it and get some air in there to try dry it up and let the moisture go out further."
The storm hit right during the middle of the D-backs' batting practice. Dennis Klein's grounds crew rushed to get the tarp on the field, but the torrential rains and high winds made it difficult. Even with security personnel and others helping, it took 10 minutes to get the infield covered.
"It was pretty heroic. ... I'm just glad nobody got hurt," general manager Jon Daniels said.
That was an extraordinary effort, but it still exposed the infield to the deluge for too long and left the field in bad shape. More rain was expected later in the evening.
"They worked their tails off to get it ready, it was just impossible," Washington said.
The Rangers adjusted their pitching rotation accordingly. Justin Grimm will start against the D-backs on Thursday. Derek Holland, Nick Tepesch and Yu Darvish will pitch the weekend series against the Royals.
The Rangers were planning on calling up Martin Perez from Triple-A Round Rock to pitch on Saturday, but Wednesday's postponement erases the need for that and he will remain in Round Rock for the time being.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.