The Washington Times - September 9, 2011, 05:31PM

The week’s unceasing rain snarled traffic, flooded roads and forced Davey Johnson to reshuffle his pitching rotation.

The odd man out for the Washington Nationals, at least in the short term, is Ross Detwiler. Skipping his turn in the rotation allows Tom Milone, tonight’s starter against the Astros, and Stephen Strasburg to continue pitching on the normal four days of rest.


Keeping Strasburg on his usual schedule was particularly important to Johnson. After Sunday’s start, Strasburg will pitch Sept. 17 vs. the Marlins and Sept. 23 vs. the Braves with a possible start Sept. 28 at the Marlins.

Johnson said Detwiler could return to the rotation next week.

— Roger Bernadina isn’t available to hit after cutting his left hand diving for a ball in the outfield. While he can run, holding a bat re-opens the wound. And on the other side, Lanyce Nix can’t run because of an injured groin, but is available to bat. Johnson expects both to recover in three or four days.

— Bryce Harper’s injured hamstring kept the prospect out the Eastern League playoffs, a move Johnson supports.

“I’m sure the injury was a lot more severe than a lot of us thought,” Johnson said. “You don’t take a chance on a pulled hammy and coming back anytime early because you could really exacerbate it.”

Johnson believes Harper remains on track to play in the Arizona Fall League.

Onto tonight’s lineups:

Houston Astros
Jordan Schaefer, CF
Jose Altuve, 2B
Jason Bourgeois, RF
Carlos Lee, 1B
J.D. Martinez, LF
Chris Johnson, 3B
Clint Barmes, SS
Humberto Quintero, C
Bud Norris, P

Washington Nationals
Steve Lombardozzi, SS
Rick Ankiel, RF
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
Michael Morse, LF
Jayson Werth, CF
Danny Espinosa, 2B
Chris Marrero, 1B
Wilson Ramos, C
Tom Milone, P