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The game will be made up Sunday as part of a split-ticket, day-night doubleheader. The original game scheduled for 1:35 p.m. remains unchanged, with tonight's rainout to be made up at 7:05 p.m.
Thus, fans holding tickets for tonight's rainout can either use them for Sunday's 7:05 p.m. makeup game or exchange them for a comparable ticket to any available future home game this season.
The Nationals weren't left with many scheduling options. A Saturday doubleheader wasn't possible because the originally scheduled game is for 4:05 p.m., with a postgame concert by Blues Traveler to follow. Because Fox has exclusive broadcasting rights from 7-10 p.m., the Nationals wouldn't have been able to televise a game in primetime.
A single-admission doubleheader for either Saturday or Sunday wasn't an option, either, because too many tickets have already been sold for the entire weekend series, requiring a split, separate-admission doubleheader.
The clubs did discuss the possibility of a Monday afternoon makeup game — both teams are off that day — but preferred the Sunday day-night doubleheader instead.
Thus, the Nationals will go 72 hours without playing at all after last night's series finale against the Mets also was rained out. (That one will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on July 26).
Manager Davey Johnson wasn't particularly upset about the possibility of back-to-back postponements, because it would allow the club to avoid promoting a fill-in starter from Class AAA Syracuse (most likely Ross Ohlendorf) to take Stephen Strasburg's rotation slot.
"This is good," Johnson said after Thursday night's game was called off. "And even one more rainout would be better."
The Nationals won't necessarily need to summon another pitcher for this weekend's series with the Twins — they could use Gio Gonzalez tomorrow and Nate Karns and Jordan Zimmermann on Sunday — but it does appear they'll need someone for next week's series at Colorado.
Dan Haren would be lined up to start Tuesday's opener at Coors Field, but none of the other starters could pitch Wednesday without going on short rest. Ross Detwiler doesn't appear to be an option, because he's scheduled to make a rehab start for Class A Potomac tomorrow and thus would have to return on short rest.
One other possibility: MLB now allows teams to add a 26th active player for doubleheaders without removing anyone else from the roster. The Nationals could then call up Ohlendorf to start one of Sunday's games, leaving Karns or Zimmermann for the Rockies series.