Series opener postponed, day-night doubleheader Tuesday

With rain in the forecast all afternoon and evening, the Nationals wasted little time making a call on tonight’s series opener against the Diamondbacks, announcing it has been postponed seven hours before scheduled first pitch.

The two teams will now play a split doubleheader Tuesday, with a new game starting at 1:05 p.m. ahead of the originally scheduled 7:05 p.m. nightcap. Both games will be nine innings, with Major League Baseball returning to longstanding rules after instituting seven-inning games for doubleheaders in 2020-21.

Fans holding tickets for tonight’s game can use them for the 1:05 p.m. game Tuesday or exchange them for tickets to an available future game. A separate ticket is required for the 7:05 p.m. game.

The rainout doesn’t necessarily come at a bad time for the Nationals, who just completed the first 11 games of a scheduled 18-day marathon with no breaks to open the season. With only two members of their rotation having even reached the sixth inning so far, the pitching staff has been taxed during a 4-7 opening stretch.

The Nats got home late Sunday night following a seven-game trip to Atlanta and Pittsburgh, having won two of three against the defending World Series champion Braves before dropping three of four to the Pirates.

The club didn’t immediately announce pitching plans, but Josiah Gray was scheduled to start tonight’s game and almost certainly will start one of Tuesday’s doubleheader games. A decision will have to be made whether to start Joan Adon as planned in the other game or push him and everyone else in the rotation back and instead use the extra 29th player allotted for doubleheaders in April on a spot starter.

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