Nats take lead into early rain delay (Harper stays hot)

Stephen Strasburg is starting for the Nationals tonight, which meant that rain would play a factor at some point.

It sure seems like every time Strasburg takes the mound, rain makes an appearance.

It started pouring here at Nats Park in the bottom of the second inning, and within minutes, the tarp was on the field and we were in a rain delay.

Looking at the radar online, it doesn’t appear we’re in danger of this being a long delay. But then again, I’m definitely no meteorologist.

The Nats will take a 1-0 lead into the delay, thanks to Steve Lombardozzi’s two-out, RBI double into the left-center field gap.

Prior to that double, the Nats had been 0-for-5 with runners on and 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position. But Lombardozzi delivered, and the Nats have an early edge.

Let’s hope this stuff clears up soon. I’ll keep you updated.

Update: The Nats have announced that they’re aiming for an 8:45 resumption.

Craig Stammen is warming in the Nationals’ bullpen, so it appears he’ll take over for Strasburg, who will have worked just two innings of scoreless ball.

Update II: After a 77-minute rain delay, we’re back to baseball.

Strasburg has been removed for pinch-hitter Scott Hairston, with Stammen set to work the third inning.

The Marlins have also gone to their bullpen, calling on Ryan Webb to relieve starter Henderson Alvarez.

Strasburg went two innings, allowing no runs on no hits with one walk and two strikeouts. He threw 22 pitches, 13 for strikes.

It’s a bullpen battle from here on out, with the Nats holding a 1-0 lead.

Update III: Bryce Harper has a 10-game hitting streak, and the Nats have a 2-0 lead.

Harper’s RBI double to left-center with one out in the third plated Ryan Zimmerman from first base to give the Nats a two-run cushion. As Zimmerman made a dash for home, he took a weird angle towards the plate and nearly took out home plate umpire Scott Barry after touching home safely. Made for a weird exchange as Zimmerman breezed towards the Nats’ dugout, but the run counts.

During Harper’s 10-game streak, he’s batting .410 (16-for-39) with six doubles, a homer, six walks and seven RBIs. Not bad.

Denard Span also has upped his modest hitting streak, pushing it to 11 games with a first-inning double.

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