Giants describe 'odd,' 'just weird' Oracle Park delays vs. Padres

·3 min read

Giants break down 'odd' and 'weird' night at Oracle Park originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO -- The final out at Oracle Park on Monday night -- a Wilmer Flores groundout to short -- came at 11:12 p.m. That's a late night, but not all that unusual. How the Giants got there, however, was pretty odd.

They did not play extra innings and there were no weather issues. It was, in fact, one of the warmest nights of the year at Third and King. But the game included two lengthy delays, one for an injured umpire and a second for a malfunctioning light bank.

The first one lasted more than 10 minutes. The second one lasted 40 minutes, with players going back to the clubhouses and both bullpens emptying.

"That was a weird game today," Joc Pederson said after the 6-5 loss. "Umpire blew out, lights went out, Joey (Bart) came out. It was just weird."

Carlos Rodón summed it up as "kind of an odd game today" and "a little different." The lefty was right in the middle of a lot of the action, including the second stoppage.

It was clear early on that something was wrong with the lights at Oracle Park, and as the sun started to set the ballpark had the feel of a Cactus League game. Rodón said he started to notice that something was off as he faced Padres hitters in the second inning.

"You could tell it was pretty dark and I was like, 'How are these guys seeing the ball?'" he said.

A lack of light is certainly a good thing for pitchers, but after the second inning the umpiring crew had seen -- or not seen -- enough. They walked over to manager Gabe Kapler and stopped the game as Rodón was taking the mound to warm up for the top of the third. He came off the field with Bart, who later would leave after taking a foul tip off the mask.

"Our whole dugout knew that it was getting too dark," Kapler said. "I think everybody in their dugout felt the same. Everybody on the field was seeing it and it wasn't going to be safe once it got a little bit darker. I thought that was the right decision."

The first thing Kapler and his coaches did was start a timer. If the delay lasted more than 45 minutes, they were going to have to decide if it was worth it to send their co-ace back out to the mound. For a while it looked like the game might be postponed, but the lights turned on after about 25 minutes and players and coaches soon returned to the field. Rodón warmed up as relievers from both teams hurried back to the bullpens.

The first pitch back was a 93 mph fastball that Juan Soto lined to right fielder Luis Gonzalez. You can't blame Soto for not wanting to wait around at that point. The top of the third inning started at around 8:27 at Oracle Park, in part because of an earlier delay.

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The first pitch Mike Clevinger threw in the bottom of the first was popped up near the visiting dugout. As Padres catcher Austin Nola chased after it, home plate umpire Marvin Hudson followed him. He slipped on the grass behind the plate and went down awkwardly, and ultimately Hudson was taken back to the clubhouse with Giants trainer Dave Groeschner. There was a lengthy delay as first base umpire John Tumpane went back to the umpires room to get his gear on.

The initial diagnosis was that Hudson had right knee discomfort. Umpire injuries are rare, but there are a few every season, mostly on foul tips. The lighting delay at Oracle Park was something new, but Rodón said it didn't impact him on the mound.

"It's just one of those odd things you deal with," he said. 

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