Nats sign reliever MacDougal

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Hello from a very soggy Nationals Park, where the tarp has been on the infield all morning and likely won’t be taken off anytime soon.

Before we get to that, some breaking news: The Nats have signed reliever Mike MacDougal to a minor-league contract. MacDougal, once an All-Star closer for the Royals, will report to Class AAA Syracuse. So yet another journeyman reliever added to the mix as the Nats try to get their bullpen in manageable shape.

Now, about the weather…

The forecast is not good: Rain all day. But the Nats are clinging to a slim hope that things might taper off in the 2:30-3:00 p.m. range, perhaps providing enough of a window to get this one started and possibly completed. No matter what, this game won’t start on time at 1:35 p.m.

Why not just postpone it right now? Because it’s going to be tricky to make this one up later. The Cardinals make no more trips to D.C., so it would require a special trip back here for one game, and there are only a couple of common off-days in which that’s even possible.

Both teams are off Thursday, June 15, but the Nats are traveling between Tampa and New York that day and the Cardinals are traveling from Cleveland to St. Louis. Not exactly on the way.

A more plausible option would be Thursday, July 23. The Nats are in between home series, while the Cards are traveling from Houston to Philadelphia. A stopover in D.C. wouldn’t be horribly troublesome.

So stayed tuned. One way or the other, we should have a final answer by 3 p.m. If this game is played, here are your starting lineups (note Tony La Russa is breaking out the pitcher-hitting-eighth shtick)…

NATIONALS

SS Cristian Guzman

CF Elijah Dukes

3B Ryan Zimmerman

1B Adam Dunn

RF Austin Kearns

LF Josh Willingham

C Jesus Flores

2B Anderson Hernandez

P John Lannan

CARDINALS

2B Joe Thurston

CF Rick Ankiel

1B Albert Pujols

RF Ryan Ludwick

LF Chris Duncan

C Yadier Molina

3B Brian Barden

P Kyle Lohse

SS Tyler Greene

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Mark Zuckerman

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