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Game postponed, potential makeup dates not ideal

Jul 8, 2015, 7:21 PM EDT

USA Today

Updated at 8:11 p.m.

Wednesday night’s series finale between the Nationals and Reds was postponed due to rain and wet grounds, a decision that for the moment helps the injury-plagued Nats but leads to a complicated attempt to make the game up at some point later this season.

No makeup date was announced, in part because there is no ideal date available. The Nationals and Reds only have two common off-days the rest of the season: August 17 and September 28.

Both clubs are on the West Coast on August 16, though, with the Nationals playing in Colorado on August 18. Forcing a team to fly back East for one day would not be a preferable option, nor would making a team play more than 20 consecutive days (a collectively bargained agreement between MLB and the players’ association).

The September 28 date (the first day of the final week of the regular season) works slightly better, but that would require the Reds to travel from Cincinnati to Washington and back in the middle of a homestand.

“There’s a couple that would take approval from the players’ association, one of them in which we would be (playing) 23 in a row … which is a lot in a row,” manager Matt Williams said. “The other one we looked at briefly is September.”

Of more pressing concern to the Nationals is the state of their injury-depleted lineup and their rotation plans for the weekend. Wednesday’s rainout does let the Nats avoid having to play a game with only two regulars in their lineup (Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond) and gives center fielder Denard Span (back spasms) and third baseman Yunel Escobar (tight hamstring) more time to heal.

Span, though, could be headed to the disabled list regardless following a planned trip to Dallas on Thursday to be examined by a back specialist.

The Nationals’ rotation plans, meanwhile, remain up in the air. The club already had a decision to make before the rainout, with Thursday’s off-day affording the option of either starting Tanner Roark in place of the injured Stephen Strasburg or keeping everybody else on normal rest and starting Max Scherzer in Sunday’s first-half finale at Camden Yards (a move that would make Scherzer ineligible to pitch in next week’s All-Star Game).

Now, the Nationals must decide whether to bump Gio Gonzalez (Wednesday’s scheduled starter) all the way back to Friday. They could then use Roark at some point later in the weekend, or Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister or Scherzer.

“We’ll know more tomorrow,” Williams said. “I’ll go back in [to the clubhouse] and talk about it. We certainly have a lot of options, so we’re in the process of doing that now.”

  1. Doc - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:28 PM

    With 5 of our top of the line-up guys out, the less we play the better!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:32 PM

      Exactly. Not a bad thing to get this postponed.

      • zmunchkin - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:46 PM

        Agreed. And I actually trucked down (via Metro) for the game. Am not unhappy that it was postponed.

    • patrickthand - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:46 PM

      Even with Harper, they can’t beat a Triple A team with the line-up posted for the game.

  2. natsjackinfl - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:29 PM

    Actually, only the Nats are off tomorrow. The Reds are in Miami for a game tomorrow night.

    • NatsLady - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:44 PM

      Correct. I was pretty sure of that, and double-checked.

    • sjberke - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:49 PM

      As I said in the last thread, the only common off day on the schedule (unless they play the last day of the All-Star break) is Monday, August 17, and both teams play on the West Coast the day before. So it’s that or see if the game needs to be made up at the end of the season.

  3. deftndumb - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:32 PM

    Off-topic, but I was listening to the Fangraphs podcast yesterday, and Dave Cameron opined that when Harper hits FA, he will command a contract of — hang onto your hats — 15 years for $600,000,000!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:33 PM

      For an asking price, why not. You can ask for anything.

      • deftndumb - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:37 PM

        Cameron implied that if Harp stays healthy, he’ll get it. And maybe he’d be worth it, but 600 mil? Holy shnikeys!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:41 PM

        That moves to a whole new level. I don’t see it but I’ve said I expect him to be the $400 million man.

        When a guy breaks the bank like that he would take such a large chunk of the payroll that it would make it tough to field a competitive team.

      • deftndumb - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:45 PM

        Agreed on both counts, Ghost. And I was thinking 400 mil myself, which is why I did a spit-take at 600.

      • deftndumb - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:48 PM

        Then again, one could do a Scherzer type deal with half the money deferred. 20 million per annum spread over 30 years, and still field a decent squad.

      • zmunchkin - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:50 PM

        Maybe he gets an ownership share. I wouldn’t put anything past the Lerners and Boras. Im sure they can find a creative way to get around the MLB rules against it.

    • Just. Dave - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:45 PM

      The Yankees can afford it….

      • zmunchkin - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:48 PM

        So can the Lerners.

      • Nats Fan Zee - Jul 8, 2015 at 9:54 PM

        Yes, the Learners can afford it … Can you afford a $275 field level seat or $100 terrace level (our 300 section eq) like the Yankee fans do? And those are 2015 prices. A $400 million over 10 year Harper contract on top of Max’s means every fan is paying about $20/game for those two …. Not going to happen.

    • tcostant - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:52 PM

      Wow looks like the Angels were genius locking up Trout for under $200M

      • zmunchkin - Jul 8, 2015 at 7:59 PM

        6 year, including 3 arbitration years, for $144.5M.

      • tcostant - Jul 8, 2015 at 10:46 PM

        Like I said, a bargain

  4. scnatsfan - Jul 8, 2015 at 8:43 PM

    Won’t matter what they offer, Harper will play where he wants. Hope it’s here but best to enjoy him while we can.

  5. rlndtln - Jul 8, 2015 at 9:47 PM

    No Harp no Franchise.

  6. John20784 - Jul 8, 2015 at 10:39 PM

    Not a drop of rain tonight in nearby PG County. This is a very odd postponement. What are the Reds saying?

  7. npb99 - Jul 8, 2015 at 11:04 PM

    On the future of Harp, I asked my fellow-Nats-fanatic son a theoretical question:
    If the devil offered you a bargain: a guaranteed world series win with Harp, but then he leaves as a free agent, would you take it? If you don’t take the offer, then there’s no guarantees of anything.
    We agreed we’d take the offer with two world series wins, and provided he wins no more than one wherever he goes next.

    • adewaldh - Jul 9, 2015 at 12:47 AM

      Perhaps because I just came from watching the Cubbies lose to the Cards after being one strike away from winning (sound familiar?), but I strongly disagree with that answer. I’d take one WS with Harper, with no contingencies. I’d even take one WS with Phillies-level ineptitude for the rest of my natural life. So would every single one of the 37,000 plus in Wrigley tonight.

  8. Drew - Jul 8, 2015 at 11:25 PM

    Trea Turner has three more hits, raising his average to .250.

    After starting 0 for 17 at Syracuse, the kid is 13 for his last 35!

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