Rainout means Nationals will need spot starter on Sunday

Doubleheader to be played Wednesday

The first game of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers was postponed Tuesday due to inclement weather in the D.C. area. The game will be made up as part of a traditional doubleheader on Wednesday with the first game beginning at 4:05 p.m. and the second starting approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first.

For the Nationals, that means Tuesday’s starter, Jordan Zimmermann, will pitch in the first game and Wednesday’s scheduled starter, John Lannan, will throw in the nightcap. The Dodgers are expected to pitch Aaron Harang in the first game and Josh Beckett in the second.

Tickets for Tuesday’s game can be redeemed at the Nationals Park box office for any remaining home game in 2012, excluding Saturday, Sept. 22, and any potential postseason tiebreaker game. Tickets for Wednesday’s originally scheduled 7:05 p.m. game will be honored for both games of the doubleheader.

Because of the postponement, the Nationals will need a sixth starter to pitch on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers to avoid using anyone on short rest. Right-handers Craig Stammen and Chien-Ming Wang, as well as left-hander Zach Duke are all candidates to make that start, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.

“I haven’t done my research on that matchup but knowing what I know about Milwaukee, it could be I start somebody out of my ‘pen and I’ll want a right-hander,” Johnson said. “I won’t start anybody on three days’ rest, so I will definitely go to the ‘pen.

“I just don’t want any of my good, young pitchers to [come back] on short rest at this point.”

Zimmermann, who would be the one primarily affected, has never pitched on less than the regular four days of rest and he dealt with shoulder inflammation earlier this season so the Nationals have tried to take precautions with him. Pitching on short rest would go against those plans. It sounded as though Stammen, who has not started a game all year but is the Nationals right-handed long reliever and was a starter in past seasons, was the top choice.

But Johnson doesn’t have to make a decision on that for a few days.

“I’m sure (Strasburg) would volunteer,” Johnson said with a laugh. “He is right-handed.”

 

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