If there’s rain tonight, Stephen Strasburg might not pitch

If the Nationals were to start their game with the Dodgers right now, it’s possible they could play. The skies are gray, but there’s only a light rain at Nationals Park - far less than what’s in the forecast for later tonight.

That’s when another front is supposed to dump between a half-inch and three-quarters of an inch of rain on the District, possibly postponing Stephen Strasburg’s return to the major leagues. Manager Davey Johnson said he doesn’t want Strasburg to pitch on a wet mound in his first start back from Tommy John surgery, or throw an inning and have to come out of the game in the event of a rain delay.

If the game is postponed, the Nationals would play a split doubleheader tomorrow, with Strasburg pitching the first game at 1:05 p.m. But there are two complicating factors: the MLB Players Association would have to approve the doubleheader, and tomorrow’s forecast looks as bad as tonight’s outlook.

That’s why the Nationals will try as hard as they can to get tonight’s game played.

“The groundskeeper said there wasn’t going to be much of a window, and that’s from three weather sources,” Johnson said. “But I’m sure we’re going to try and get it in.”

Brad Peacock, who will make his major league debut in relief of Strasburg tonight if the game is played, would start tonight if Johnson scratches Strasburg.

“I wouldn’t want (Strasburg) to go in inclement weather, No. 1, and No. 2, I wouldn’t want to go one inning, because I’d have to wait until his next time came around,” Johnson said. “I’d rather postpone it a day, knowing that he could get his full work in.”