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Rain delay [updated at 9:42 p.m.]

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If you look at the field right now at Nationals Park, you would think there’s no way tonight’s game gets played. There are huge pools of standing water in both shallow right and left fields and it continues to rain.

But word is that they will get this one in, eventually. The skies are supposed to clear at some point, and the field here drains very well. So stay tuned for baseball.

In the meantime, the Mets and Pirates were washed out tonight, which means New York is changing its rotation for this weekend’s series against the Nats. Which means old friend Tim Redding starts Friday night, with Fredericksburg native John Maine going Saturday and ex-Nat Livan Hernandez on Sunday. What this also means is that the Nats will avoid Johan Santana. Nice break.

UPDATE AT 8:05 P.M: The tarp has been off the field for a while and the grounds crew is furiously squeegeeing the water into drains in right field. There’s another line of storms coming, but I was just told by a Nats official that if the field is ready to go before the rain arrives, they will start this game. They’ve been fooled by bad forecasts before. So it’s quite possible we’ll be underway within the next half-hour.

UPDATE AT 8:40 P.M.: The tarp is back on the field. There’s another line of storms coming shortly. It’s expected to last at least an hour. But the Nats insist things look good after that and baseball will be played eventually. Better start brewing the coffee. It’s gonna be a long night.

UPDATE AT 9:42 P.M.: It’s still absolutely pouring here, and the field is taking on some serious water. I know the field drains well, but I’m wondering if they’re going to be able to get this thing playable in a reasonable amount of time. Common sense says to play a day-night doubleheader tomorrow, but the forecast is for a 70 percent chance of more rain. So there’s no good answer.

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Mark Zuckerman

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