In the wake of a mass Navy yard shooting in Washington on Monday that left 12 dead, according to Barbara Starr and Catherine E. Shoichet of CNN, Monday's Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals game has been postponed, per Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.
While one of the suspects in the shooting was killed, police believe there may be another gunman still on the loose in the Washington area, according to Starr and Shoichet.
The Nationals released a statement on their official website in which they cited the safety of their fans as the main reason behind postponing the game until Tuesday:
All of us here in the Nationals organization were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic events that occurred this morning only a few blocks from Nationals Park. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.
In light of the circumstances, we have decided to postpone tonight’s game against the Atlanta Braves. Additional information will be distributed in the coming hours.
The safety of our fans is our utmost priority. As we have throughout the day, the Nationals security personnel will continue to work closely with all levels of law enforcement to reinforce the already high level of security in place at Nationals Park.
The Nationals and the Washington area have already received plenty of support from across the league, including a classy tweet on behalf of the Boston Red Sox organization.
While the game does hold some importance in the standings, there are far more pressing issues that need to be addressed before the Nats and Braves can take the field.
Provided the Nationals and Braves do play a twin bill on Tuesday, as Nationals manager Davey Johnson told Comak, both games will essentially be must-win in nature for Washington.
The Nats trail Atlanta by 10 games in the NL East, and the Braves' magic number to clinch the division is four. Washington has more hope in the NL wild-card race, as the Cincinnati Reds hold a 4.5-game advantage with 13 games left to play for the Nationals and 12 for the Reds.
Washington has been on a hot streak with an 8-2 record over its past 10 games. Despite that momentum, however, the players and coaches understand there is no reason for either team to take unnecessary risks with so much uncertainty still surrounding the shooting incident.
According to Comak, Nationals starting pitcher Dan Haren and his teammates were able to put things into perspective, as they preferred not to play out of respect for the families affected.
If the Nats proceed with business as usual on Tuesday, perhaps it can provide an escape for Washingtonians looking to heal from Monday's tragic incident.
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