[Updated: 10:30 p.m.]
Tuesday night's game between the Nationals and Orioles was postponed due to heavy rain after a delay of approximately 2 1/2 hours. The two teams will now play a makeup game on Aug. 4 at Nationals Park.
The tarp rolled out in D.C. about a half-an-hour before game time as a large storm carrying winds of over 50 miles per hour approached. A delay was announced at 6:35 p.m. despite clear skies above. Sure enough, the precipitation came and carried on for hours before the postponement was announced at 9:35 p.m.
For the Nationals, they will now push Tuesday starter Doug Fister back to Wednesday, with Tanner Roark skipping his turn in the rotation. Roark will be available out of the bullpen over the next several days with his next start scheduled for July 13 in Philadelphia, the Nats' final game before the All-Star break.
"He'll be available out of the bullpen," Matt Williams said. "On a short leash, but he'll be available."
After Fister, Gio Gonzalez will pitch on Thursday with Jordan Zimmermann starting Friday and Stephen Strasburg taking the ball on Saturday.
Williams explained his reasoning for the plan moving forward.
"If, in fact, Tanner would take his regular turn, it would be a number of days in between starts for him anyway. The availability that we have with him out of the bullpen over the next couple of days, in keeping the other guys on regular rest, dictated the decision. He'll be ready to go on Sunday."
For the Orioles, each of their starters will simply be pushed back a day. Bud Norris will make his return from the disabled list on Wednesday and Wei-Yin Chen will start the final game of the series on Thursday.
The Nationals announced late Tuesday that ticket holders for Tuesday's game can use their original tickets for the makeup on Aug. 4. If they are unable to attend that day, they can instead exchange their tickets for any remaining 2014 regular season game scheduled at Nationals Park.
Given both teams had a mutual off-day on Aug. 4, the makeup was a logical fit. Williams said despite the two teams' proximity to each other - a distance of 38 miles between parks - the idea of doing a Washington/Baltimore doubleheader was never seriously on the table.
Williams did note how a similar plan had worked in New York - the Yankees and Mets play nine miles apart - and thinks it is an option for the future.
"Didn't the Mets and Yankees do it one time? I'd imagine it was the same amount of time to get across New York City that it would take for us to get to Baltimore," he said.
"But no. We have a mutual off-day on the 4th of August, so we'll determine what time that game is. Since there is a mutual off-day, we didn't even go that far. But it's been done before, if it had to be done, I guess it could be done. But no, we didn't think about that."