|Phils, Nats hope -- again -- Mother Nature lets them play|
It will eventually stop raining long enough for baseball to be played at Nationals Park.
The question is whether the Philadelphia Phillies will still be in town when it does.
The Phillies and Nationals tried again and failed to wait out the rain on Tuesday as they were postponed for the second night in a row. With a day-night doubleheader already on tap for Wednesday, Tuesday's game will be played as part of a day-night affair on Sept. 24.
If the clouds part in time, Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin (6-6, 2.81 ERA) will oppose left-hander Patrick Corbin (5-5, 4.11) in Wednesday's opener.
Eflin has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 11 of his 13 starts. In his most recent outing on June 12, he took the 2-0 loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks despite allowing two runs on five hits over eight innings. He tied a season high with nine strikeouts.
"I can't say enough about the way he pitched today, so it's definitely frustrating when they do get a couple runs and it's on weak contact like that," Phillies catcher T.J. Realmuto told MLB.com after the game.
Eflin is 3-1 with a 3.51 ERA in five starts against Washington, including 2-0 this season after giving up one run in 12 innings (0.75 ERA) while striking out 14 with seven hits and three walks.
Corbin has struggled in his past three starts, going 0-3 with an 11.37 ERA. He has given up 22 hits and 16 earned runs in 12 2/3 innings while surrendering four home runs, striking out 13 and issuing seven walks.
Last time out he allowed seven runs in five innings against the White Sox on June 11.
"It's been frustrating these last three starts or so, trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong," Corbin told MLB.com. "I feel like we're doing the right stuff in between."
He's 3-2 in his career against the Phillies over six outings, all starts, with a 3.58 ERA.
Wednesday night's game will feature Phillies right-hander Jake Arrieta (6-5, 4.31) against a Nationals starter yet to be determined.
After allowing five earned runs in consecutive starts, Arrieta gave up three runs on six hits over six innings in a win against the Arizona Diamondbacks last time out. He struck out five and walked four.
"I just wanted to be efficient down in the zone and if I missed, missing down is ideal," he told NBC Sports Philadelphia. "If you miss over the heart of the plate, elevated, with fastballs against a team like this they're going to find the seats, so that was definitely in the back of my mind."
Arrieta is 1-2 with a 5.07 ERA in 14 career starts against Washington. He has lasted just 71 innings in those starts - little more than five per outing -- and has not beaten the Nationals since 2015.
Nationals ace Max Scherzer was originally scheduled to start one of Wednesday's games, but he suffered a broken nose on Tuesday after being struck in the face with a ball coming off his bat during a bunting drill in batting practice.
Scherzer underwent a CT scan, and the results came back negative. The Nationals could go with Austin Voth or Erick Fedde on Wednesday night. Voth, 3-5 with a 4.40 ERA in 12 starts for the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies this season, was reportedly traveling to Washington on Tuesday night.
Scherzer and Fedde could both get pushed back to the Nationals weekend series against the Atlanta Braves.
"The only thing (certain) right now is that (Stephen) Strasburg will still pitch on Thursday," manager Dave Martinez told reporters.
--Field Level Media