WASHINGTON -- The much-anticipated Tigers-Nationals showdown is going to have to wait another night. At least the Tigers didn't have to wait long to get their answer about getting the game in, and they won't have to tweak their schedule too badly to make it up.
With forecasts for rain throughout the evening, the Nationals postponed Tuesday night's series opener more than two hours before first pitch. Both teams were scheduled to be off on Thursday, so they'll make up the game that afternoon with a 4:05 p.m. ET start. All tickets for Tuesday's game will apply to Thursday's makeup, according to the Nationals.
It was the fate many feared for Tuesday's game as the rain came down all morning and into the afternoon over the nation's capital.
"The weather looks a little shaky for tonight," manager Jim Leyland said around 3:30 p.m. ET.
When asked whether it would be easier on them to call it early or play through the rain, Leyland kept out of it.
"It's their game. It's their choice," Leyland said. "Whatever they do, we respect. … I don't worry about stuff like that. There's no sense worrying about it. You're wasting your time. Nothing you can do about it."
Ironically, the rain let up soon after the game was called, allowing Tigers pitchers to get in some throwing work after Monday's off-day.
Both teams kept their starting pitchers in order, so Tuesday's matchup between Anibal Sanchez and Jordan Zimmermann will take place Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET. Doug Fister will then pitch Thursday's makeup game opposite Dan Haren.
Both Sanchez and Fister will be pitching on six days' rest, essentially going a week between starts.
Because both teams already had Monday off, losing Thursday's off-day won't have a major impact. The Tigers have another off-day scheduled for May 20, in the middle of their next road trip to Texas and Cleveland.
The scheduling quirk made for an easy makeup date.
"Because of this being such a weird situation, just two games, and not coming back, I think you just have to do what you have to do," Leyland said.
It's the second time this season that the Tigers have come out of an off-day and seen a series opener postponed. Rain washed out Detroit's April 23 matchup against the Royals, giving the Tigers a second consecutive day off. The Tigers played the final two games of that scheduled series, and will make up the rainout at a later date.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.