Marlins-Phillies game postponed

July 18, 2009 7:45:25 PM PDT
Only hours after the Florida Marlins held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new ballpark that will include a retractable roof, their game against the Philadelphia Phillies was rained out. "Has there ever been greater irony?" Marlins president David Samson said.

The game was postponed after a 90-minute delay with the Marlins leading 2-0 in the second inning. It will likely be rescheduled as part of a doubleheader when the Phillies return to Miami on Sept. 22-23.

The NL East-leading Phillies, who have a seven-game winning streak, conclude this weekend's series against the Marlins on Sunday.

Because the rainout limited the Phillies' Joe Blanton to 1 1-3 innings, they'll shuffle their rotation. He'll pitch Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs, and Jamie Moyer will be pushed back one day to Wednesday.

Josh Johnson pitched two innings for Florida. He'll likely remain on his normal schedule and pitch again Friday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles although he might be moved up to Wednesday at San Diego, manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

"This is why we need that stadium," Gonzalez said of the rain. "It's a difficult to thing to handle as a manager and a player and a coach."

The new ballpark is scheduled to open for the 2012 season, although Samson said commissioner Bud Selig and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria joked about moving up the date up.

"They saw a video that showed it being built," Samson said. "They said, `If you just press fast forward, does that mean it will be done in 2011?"'

The rain was especially frustrating for the Marlins because it came with them leading 2-0 and their ace on the mound. Emilio Bonifacio and Hanley Ramirez singled in the first inning, and Jeremy Hermida hit a two-out, two-run double.

The game was stopped after Florida's John Baker grounded out to start the bottom of the second inning. Only light rain was falling when the postponement was announced, but Samson said the forecast was ominous.

"It's going to storm the entire night," he said.

The Marlins have long contended South Florida's rainy summer weather is largely to blame for their perennially lackluster attendance, and they've sought a ballpark with a retractable roof for more than a decade.

The ceremony to break ground for the stadium drew an estimated crowd of 5,000. Then came the team's second rainout of the season.

"I would not say it's poetic," Samson said. "I was going to say something more like pathetic."

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