The Nationals' scheduled game tonight against the Mets has been postponed due to rain that is forecast to fall throughout the evening and continue into Saturday morning.
The two teams are now scheduled to play a doubleheader, each game lasting seven innings, on Saturday beginning at 3:05 p.m. The Mets remain mathematically alive for the final wild card berth in the National League, and though they could be eliminated later tonight based on the results of other games, Major League Baseball will have them proceed and play the three games remaining on their schedule this weekend regardless.
Barring some other postponement, the Nationals will end up playing all 60 games scheduled for this shortened season, with five doubleheaders needed due to previous cancellations.
The two clubs appeared like they expected to start on time after the Nationals Park grounds crew pulled the tarp off the field roughly 45 minutes before scheduled first pitch. Both starting pitchers - the Nationals' Max Scherzer and the Mets' Rick Porcello - made their way to the outfield to begin stretching and throwing.
But then Joe West and his umpiring crew emerged on the field along with head groundskeeper John Turnour and convened as the tarp was pulled back over the infield. Nationals manager Davey Martinez joined the conversation as pitching coach Paul Menhart motioned to Scherzer to wait to begin warming up.
After several minutes, the meeting broke up and Martinez motioned to Scherzer to stop what he was doing.
"Canceled, or are we playing?" Scherzer yelled from right field.
"Canceled," Martinez yelled back.
Scherzer will start one of Saturday's seven-inning games now, according to the Nationals. AnÃbal SÃ¡nchez, already scheduled to pitch Saturday, will start the other. Austin Voth remains in line to take the mound for Sunday's season finale.