During the hours between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. central time tonight, a few Nationals played poked their head out of the clubhouse and into the dugout, just to see what was going on. At various points, they would have seen quarter-sized hail, flashes of lighting, pitch-black clouds and sideways rain. They may have also heard sirens, indicating a tornado warning for downtown St. Louis.
“Guys were coming in saying they had never seen anything like it,” Manager Jim Riggleman said.
After the biblical weather persisted nearly three hours, officials cancelled tonight’s game and scheduled a day-night doubleheader for Wednesday. John Lannan, tonight’s scheduled starter, will face Jake Westbrook in Game 1 at 2:15 p.m. Jordan Zimmermann will face Jaime Garcia in Game 2 at 8:15 p.m.
The Nationals swept a doubleheader Sunday in Washington against the Brewers, then did not play Monday or Tuesday. Because of several early scheduled off days and bad weather, the Nationals have not played baseball six days out of 20 since March 31, opening day.
“It’s too many off days,” Riggleman said. “That’s the thing about scheduled off days. You know you’re going to get some rain in April. It’s certainly not ideal. But we’ll make the adjustment to it.”
Riggleman will make one change from his lineup tonight for Game 1 tomorrow. Ivan Rodriguez will catch in place of Wilson Ramos, who will instead catch Game 2. “No particular reason,” Riggleman said. But the switch will allow Ramos to bat against left-hander Garcia. Riggleman prefers using Ramos against lefties because it takes advantage of his power, in which he has a considerable edge over Rodriguez.