This has been a record-breaking summer for rain and no one knows that more than the Jamestown Jammers. They haven't suffered any rained-out New York-Penn League games, but they've had something worse - suspended games.
The problem with those suspended games is not only did a starting pitcher get warmed up, but he also pitched a few innings before his stint was over - not by the decision of the manager, but by the decision of Mother Nature.
"The only thing I have on that is maybe don't start the game,'' Jamestown manager Dave Turgeon said.
P-J PHOTOS BY JIM RIGGS
A good example of why that sometimes doesn't happen was on July 2 at Diethrick Park when a game against Mahoning Valley started in sunshine with clear skies, but within 30 minutes a rainstorm popped up and stopped the game after 1 innings.
What is unusual is that the Jammers had four suspended games in the span of 10 days. That is a rarity and to make it worse, the longest one of those games had gone only 2 innings before it was suspended .
When asked if he had ever experienced four suspended games in less than two weeks, Turgeon said, "Not probably in this league. The Florida State League is more of a rain league."
And he knows something about the NY-P League because he played at Oneonta in 1987 and this is his third season as a manager in the league.
"It's odd,'' he said. ''It probably won't be the last time these guys go through it. It's good for them to go through it now. It's a hurry-and-wait kind of business sometimes."
He added, "It doesn't affect us. We don't get frustrated, we just kind of go with it. Sometimes these guys need time off anyway."
The main concern is the pitching.
"You worry about burning your starter and not getting the length out of him,'' Turgeon said.
But on the other side of the coin, he pointed out, "That probably means an opportunity for someone else to kind of step up. Maybe one of the later-round picks to kind of shine and pick up the slack. So to put a positive-spin on it, there is a silver lining to that also. We've got guys that get opportunities because the starter gets burned."
Turgeon added, "Steelie's good at juggling things and we have enough guys to pick up the slack.''
He was referring to pitching coach Mike Steele, who handles the juggling of the hurlers.
"You do this long enough you learn that's part of it,'' he said of the suspended games. ''And having spent the last two years in the Florida State League, come August you've got a lot of doubleheaders."
But the Jammers' ''doubleheaders'' have not been two games starting from scratch, but the completion of a suspended game in which a pitcher must take over for a starting pitcher who had pitched only a few innings and then another game follows.
"We're pretty fortunate here because we're allowed 15 pitchers, but were also unfortunate that those starting pitchers are on five innings or six innings at most, and some of these guys are three or four,'' Steele said. ''So the guys coming behind really have to do a good job."
He also sees a positive for those starters who end up with only two or three innings before the game is stopped.
"I like to look at it as some added adversity,'' Steele said. But he added, ''It helps these guys. It expedites their learning process of why it's important to go out and stay within your game. Why it's important to attack for contact and put the ball on the ground. They know the team will suffer if we have to blow through the entire pitching staff."
To sum it up, Steele said, "It's all just part of the game."
Turgeon noted, "Our guys respond pretty good. They just go out and play their game."
And he added, "Before you know it we'll probably be begging for a rain day when we start playing 20, 25 games in a row."