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Nats-Phillies postponed due to Washington's COVID outbreak originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Wednesday night’s game between the Nationals and Phillies was postponed less than two hours before first pitch “to allow for continued testing and contact tracing involving members of the Nationals organization,” Major League Baseball announced. The game will be made up as part of a straight doubleheader Thursday with first pitch of Game 1 at 12:05 p.m.
Nationals manager Davey Martinez told reporters that 12 people have been placed into COVID protocols, four of them being players. Shortstop Trea Turner was removed in the first inning of Washington’s 6-4 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday for testing positive. Though Martinez said after the game that no one else had been deemed close contacts, the situation evolved over the last 24 hours to the point where a game couldn’t be played.
“I’m very concerned,” Martinez said Wednesday. “We all took rapid tests today. We’ll follow up [and] get some additional results tomorrow but hopefully no one else will test positive. But yeah, there is some concern here right now. As soon as the game got canceled, I got everybody out of here and on a bus and back to the hotel. I want to do the same thing myself and get back there and get out of here so they can clean this place up and we get ready for tomorrow.”
The outbreak marks the third time this season that the Nationals have had to place multiple players on the COVID IL. They began the season down nine players and four coaches due to an outbreak on their team plane while flying up from their spring training complex in Florida. Then in May, starter Erick Fedde tested positive (despite being vaccinated) and reliever Tanner Rainey was forced to quarantine for being a close contact. The Nationals are among the teams that have reached the 85% vaccination rate, which allows for looser social distancing restrictions.
Washington’s latest outbreak comes just two days before the MLB trade deadline, a key date for a club headed toward selling for the first time in a decade. Turner, who isn’t experiencing symptoms, is among several Nationals players who have been connected to trade rumors over the last few weeks.