WASHINGTON (AP) — Two consecutive rainouts — and one batting practice injury for Max Scherzer — have thrown the Washington Nationals’ pitching plans into question.
The Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies were rained out Tuesday after a nearly two-hour delay, the teams’ second consecutive postponement. The game will be made up on Sept. 24 at 1:05 p.m. as part of a day-night doubleheader.
The truncated three-game series between NL East rivals will now start with a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday, with the front end the makeup of Monday’s washout.
Neither team immediately announced its pitching plans, though the one thing that seemed certain early Tuesday afternoon — that Scherzer would start one of the games — was thrown into doubt by a batting practice mishap.
Scherzer suffered a broken nose when he took a ball off his face while attempting a bunt. The team said a CT scan was negative and that Scherzer’s status was still to be determined.
Washington will need to find at least one starter to augment its rotation while playing six games between Wednesday and Sunday.
Left-hander Patrick Corbin, originally slated for Monday’s game, will pitch Wednesday afternoon. Both Scherzer and Erick Fedde could get pushed back to a weekend series against Atlanta while the Nationals keep right-hander Stephen Strasburg on his regular rest for Thursday’s game.
“The only thing right now is that Strasburg will still pitch on Thursday,” manager Dave Martinez said.
The Nationals have the luxury of a day off Monday. Philadelphia begins a stretch of 13 games in 12 days on Wednesday — weather permitting, of course.
Another complicating factor for Philadelphia is the struggles of its No. 5 spot in the rotation. Vince Velasquez and Cole Irvin, who have both made starts this season, combined to allow 10 runs in six innings Sunday at Atlanta. The Phillies could also look to the minors for a starter during this stretch.
“We see it as an opportunity for people to make an impact,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “We see it as an opportunity for players who have not yet established themselves as dependable options to do so. This just gives us another opportunity.”
Phillies: LHP Adam Morgan (forearm strain) is scheduled to make a rehabilitation appearance Wednesday and could be activated late in the week. . Kapler said OF Adam Haseley (groin strain) is about seven days away from game activity. He is scheduled to run the bases Friday.
Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman (plantar fasciitis) ran the bases and is scheduled to do so again Wednesday. Martinez said if all goes well, Zimmerman could be sent on a rehabilitation assignment.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (6-6, 2.81 ERA), who is 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA against Washington this season, gets the nod in Wednesday’s first game. RHP Jake Arrieta (6-5, 4.31) will start the evening game.
Nationals: Corbin (5-5, 4.11), who is 0-3 with an 11.37 ERA over his last three starts, gets the start in the afternoon game. The Nationals have not named a starter for the nightcap.
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