With one massive storm cell having already swept through town and more expected later tonight, the Nationals’ series opener against the Mariners was postponed, with a day-night doubleheader now scheduled for Wednesday.
The call was made around 8:15 p.m., some 70 minutes after the originally scheduled first pitch and about 2 hours after the heaviest of the rain fell during a downpour that included intense wind, lightning and thunder.
The postponement might have been made official earlier if not for the fact this is a two-game series between interleague opponents who rarely face each other. With a 12:05 p.m. finale scheduled Wednesday before the Mariners fly to Texas to open a weekend series Thursday night, the notion of waiting it out tonight was intriguing.
But as more rain began to fall after 8 p.m., with more lightning visible and thunder audible, the Nationals announced the postponement and subsequent doubleheader on Wednesday.
The two teams will begin the day with their originally scheduled 12:05 p.m. game, with Josiah Gray (who was supposed to start tonight) getting the ball for the Nationals. Fans who held a ticket to tonight’s postponed game can now use it for Wednesday’s 6:05 p.m. game, with Erick Fedde making the start.
The Nats, who already announced earlier today that Aníbal Sánchez will make his long-delayed season debut Thursday against the Braves, will need to come up with another starter sometime this weekend. With six games in five days heading into the All-Star break, they’ll need a sixth starting pitcher, and it doesn’t appear their top prospect will be an option.
Cade Cavalli departed Triple-A Rochester’s game tonight in the fourth inning after throwing a pitch and immediately motioning to the dugout. The 23-year-old right-hander, who carried a perfect game into the sixth inning in his last start, allowed one unearned run while striking out six over 3 2/3 innings tonight against Omaha, throwing 49 pitches.
Cavalli had been scheduled to appear in Saturday’s All-Star Futures Game at Dodger Stadium, though his status for that exhibition remains to be seen.