The Washington Times - September 22, 2013, 11:56AM

The Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins waited close to four hours on Saturday night to try and get in the penultimate game of the Nationals’ home schedule, but ultimately the rain did not let up long enough for them to do so.

So the teams filed back into Nationals Park early on Sunday morning to settle in for a long day of baseball that would start with the regularly scheduled game at 1:35 p.m. and continue with a 7:05 p.m. makeup of Saturday night’s game. The Nationals will fly to St. Louis whenever all of that is over.

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This is a big day for the Nationals — perhaps the most important of their entire season — as they could be as close as three games from a playoff spot or as far as six when all is said and done. 

The Nationals gained a half-game on the Cincinnati Reds when the Reds lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday. Those two teams will go at it again, and if the Reds lose while the Nationals sweep the doubleheader from the Marlins, the Nationals could be three games out of the final wild card spot with six game to go. 

If the Reds win, and the Nationals lose one or both games to the Marlins, they could be five or six games back with six to play. 

“It’s a big day,” said Nationals right-hander Drew Storen. “I think we’re very fortunate (with regard to the doubleheader) to have the roster size we do. We feel confient in the guys who’ve come up to help us out. It’s all part of the adversity, and we’re going to have to earn it. There’s really nothing you can do (to avoid this situation). It was a rock and a hard place with the options we had.”

Dan Haren will start for the Nationals in the first game.

Here are the full lineups:

Nationals

Denard Span CF
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Jayson Werth RF
Bryce Harper LF
Ian Desmond SS
Adam LaRoche 1B
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Jhonatan Solano C
Dan Haren P

Marlins

Chris Coghlan LF
Donovan Solano 2B
Christian Yelich CF
Giancarlo Stanton RF
Logan Morrison 1B
Placido Polanco 3B
Adeiny Hechavarria SS
Jeff Mathis C
Tom Koehler P