Dodgers frustrated by handling of rain delays, but beat Guardians in suspended game

Clayton Kershaw walks through the Dodgers dugout.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw walks through the dugout during a rain delay in the third inning against the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday in Cleveland.
(Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press)

The delay started before the rain did. And no one in the Dodgers dugout seemed too pleased about it.

After just two innings at Progressive Field on Wednesday night, the Dodgers’ game against the Cleveland Guardians was delayed — and eventually suspended — because of rain.

The only problem: No rain fell until 28 minutes after the delay began, effectively wasting a start from Clayton Kershaw and forcing the Dodgers to play 16 innings Thursday — seven to complete Wednesday’s game, then the scheduled series finale.


“It was unfortunate,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday night. “I don’t want to get too much into how it was handled.”

The Dodgers eventually prevailed for a 6-1 win after the game was resumed Thursday afternoon — but not before another 1-hour, 13-minute rain delay before the start of the ninth inning.

That delay also began prematurely, with heavy rain not falling until 27 minutes after the tarp went on the field.

And, because the game wasn’t finished until Thursday’s rain stopped, the teams had to take a 38-minute break before beginning their originally scheduled series finale.

Between games Thursday, Cleveland general manager Chris Antonetti went to the Dodgers clubhouse to apologize to Roberts and general manager Brandon Gomes, according to the SportsNet LA broadcast.

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Rain had been in the forecast for Wednesday night. Prior to the game, Roberts said the team was told that a delay could begin around 8:30, roughly an hour and a half after the first pitch.


Instead, in apparent anticipation of an approaching storm, the delay began at 7:46 — almost a half-hour before any rain actually fell.

For much of that wait, Dodgers players loitered in the dugout, wondering why they couldn’t try to complete as much of the game as possible.

“If we have an hour and a half, then we feel like we can get a good chunk of the game in,” Roberts said. “But yeah, we didn’t expect a 7:40 stop.”

The biggest consequence was Kershaw’s wasted start.

The left-hander looked sharp early on, bouncing back from a first-inning home run by José Ramirez to strike out four batters through two innings. When the game was called, Kershaw had thrown only 33 pitches.

“Obviously he was disappointed, because he was working through some things,” Roberts said. “I’m sure their guy is disappointed too. But it was out of our control.”

Two people sit under an umbrella in the stands.
Fans sit under an umbrella during a rain delay in the third inning of a game between the Dodgers and the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday in Cleveland.
(Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press)

While Roberts acknowledged it would have been “very optimistic” for the Dodgers and Guardians to complete five innings before rain started to fall at 8:16 — games can become official if five innings are completed — the manager believed they could have gotten at least another inning or two from Kershaw.

“We could have got through four, considering the pace of play and the way the game was going,” Roberts said. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t my decision. I wish we could have kept playing until we saw some raindrops.”

Instead, the Dodgers had to piece together seven innings from their bullpen in Thursday’s first game — a win that was keyed offensively by a 5-for-5, two-RBI performance from Mookie Betts, tying acareer high for hits in a game.

Ryan Pepiot was added to the active roster to pitch the bulk innings of Thursday’s second game, following left-handed opener Caleb Ferguson.

Kershaw, meanwhile, likely won’t see the mound again until next Tuesday, according to Roberts. The Dodgers do have an opening in their rotation for Sunday’s road trip finale in Boston, but Roberts said it’s unlikely that Kershaw, who threw an extra inning in the bullpen at the start of the rain delay, would start on only three days’ rest.

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Pitching injury updates

While right-handed reliever Blake Treinen (shoulder) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with triple-A Oklahoma City this week, Roberts called it a “long shot” that Treinen will rejoin the club this season.


“I hope it works out,” Roberts said. “I hope he can come out of it and get a few under his belt and join us. But it’s still the shoulder, and when you’re talking about the shoulder, it always seems to be a long shot.”

Meanwhile, Walker Buehler (Tommy John recovery) is continuing to throw one-inning simulated games against hitters, Roberts said. His timeline for beginning a rehab assignment remains unclear.