More coming out of last night’s postponement

There was some chatter in the press box during last night’s lengthy 2-hour, 30-minute rain delay about whether the Nationals and Orioles would consider a day-night, two-city doubleheader today, if last night’s game was to get postponed.

Well, last night’s game was postponed. And according to Nats manager Matt Williams, that doubleheader split between Nats Park and Camden Yards was not considered.

A similar doubleheader schedule was put into place a handful of years ago when the Yankees and Mets split two games between Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium within one day.

Logistically, with TV crews needing to set up for games at two ballparks and buses needing to ship players, coaches and staffers from one stadium to another in between games, the two-ballpark doubleheader isn’t really feasible, even when Nats Park and Camden Yards are only 45 minutes apart.

I still think it would’ve been fun, though. Maybe one day.

tanner-roark-red-sidebar.jpgI had some fans asking me last night why the Nationals decided to bump back Tanner Roark’s scheduled start Thursday and now have him set to start the final game before the All-Star break, Sunday against the Phillies.

One of the factors is that Roark can now be used out of the bullpen sometime in these next couple of days, giving the Nats an extra arm in relief should they need it. The 27-year-old is accustomed to coming out of the ‘pen, and a relief appearance would essentially serve as his side session, although the Nats would clearly monitor his pitches and usage carefully.

Roark hasn’t been at his sharpest his last few outings, and this extra time in between starts will allow him more time to try and get back on track. Getting in a game in relief might assist in that process.

The Nats also likely wanted to keep Gio Gonzalez on normal rest, given how well he’s pitched of late. Gonzalez has thrown 22 straight scoreless innings, and if the Nats had just bumped each starter back a day, they would have risked Gonzalez getting thrown off by having that extra rest.

Here’s how the Nats will now line things up the rest of the way until the break:

Wednesday at Orioles - Doug Fister
Thursday at Orioles - Gio Gonzalez
Friday at Phillies - Jordan Zimmermann
Saturday at Phillies - Stephen Strasburg
Sunday at Phillies - Tanner Roark

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