Nats postponed, doubleheader Wednesday

Nats postponed, doubleheader Wednesday
September 18, 2012, 9:41 pm
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Tonight's series opener between the Nationals and Dodgers has been postponed due to the heavy storms sweeping through the area this afternoon and evening.

The two teams will play a single-admission doubleheader Wednesday, beginning at 4:05 p.m., with the nightcap starting at 7:05 p.m. or 30 minutes after completion of the first game, whichever is later.

Fans holding tickets for Wednesday's originally scheduled 7:05 p.m. can use those tickets for admissions to both games of the doubleheader. Fans holding tickets for tonight's rained out game must exchange them at the Nationals Park box office for seats of equal or lesser value to the doubleheader or any future 2012 home game (excluding Saturday's 1:05 p.m. against the Brewers or any potential playoff tiebreaker home game).

Tonight's postponement won't have much of an immediate effect on the Nationals' rotation; manager Davey Johnson said Jordan Zimmermann (who was supposed to start tonight) will now pitch the doubleheader opener, with John Lannan starting the nightcap as originally scheduled.

The Nationals will, however, need someone to make a spot start on Sunday against Milwaukee, because Johnson does not want to have to bring either Zimmermann or Lannan back on short rest.

"I just don't want any of my good, young pitchers to pitch on short rest at this point," the manager said. "I don't think Zim has done it, and he's had a little bit of that inflammation there in his right shoulder. I think he could do it, and have no problem, but it's not something I'd like to do to any of those in the rotation, at this point."

Johnson named several potential candidates to make that spot start, including September call-up Zach Duke, the recently activated Chien-Ming Wang and long reliever Craig Stammen. He sounded as though he's leaning toward using a right-hander against the Brewers, whose lineup is heavy with right-handed hitters.

"I haven't done my research on that match-up, but knowing what I know about Milwaukee, it could be I start somebody out of my 'pen," Johnson said. "I'll want a right-hander. Craig Stammen, he could be a candidate. Chien-Ming. I won't start anybody on three days' rest. So I will definitely go to the 'pen."

There is, of course, a healthy right-handed starter still on the Nationals' active roster named Stephen Strasburg.

"I'm sure Stras would volunteer," Johnson said with a laugh. "He is right-handed. He has been chomping."

Don't count on a surprise like that.