CHICAGO – The Washington Nationals gave up an off day to avoid playing a doubleheader.
After rain postponed Monday night's game between the Chicago Cubs and the Nationals, the players agreed to make up the game on Thursday afternoon, as opposed to playing a doubleheader on Tuesday.
"We were going to have a day off on Thursday. But we weren't going to travel until 3 p.m., so we'll probably get to Philly about the same time we would have normally," said Nationals manager Davey Johnson.
"There was some conversation about a split (doubleheader), but I think everybody wanted to do what we're doing, playing a day game on Thursday rather than a split. I'm comfortable with Thursday."
The Nationals were scheduled to play 16 straight days, until Monday's game was postponed.
A forecast of steady rain throughout the night prompted the Cubs to delay the opener of the three-game series. The game was called after a 32-minute delay.
The game will be made up Thursday at 1:20 p.m. CDT.
"I'm sure the player reps got together and that's what they came up with," said Cubs manager Mike Quade. I sense there is reasons for that because I know they were staying here, instead of going to Philly on the off day," said Quade.
Wang is scheduled to make his third start — and first on the road — after missing more than two years following right shoulder surgery.
In his last outing, he allowed six runs — two earned — in five innings of Wednesday's 6-4 loss to Atlanta. He threw 86 pitches.
Johnson is hoping being pushed back will be beneficial for Wang, who made his last start Wednesday.
"I know he had an extra day in one of his rehab starts down in Syracuse. He threw good. So, it probably won't hurt him," said Johnson.
The Cubs didn't win three straight all year until July 22-24, then Garza extended their winning streak to four-games Wednesday with a 1-0 victory at Pittsburgh. Garza (5-8, 3.78 ERA) went seven-plus innings, striking out seven and allowing four hits for his first win since June 27.
The right-hander has an ERA below 4.00 despite losing eight games.
"I just know if you're going to win baseball games guys need to pitch well. It doesn't guarantee a win, but it should guarantee you a chance to win," said Quade. I just assume focus on the quality he is running out there on a quality basis and believe with that going on the wins will take care themselves at some points, but he hasn't been lucky that's for sure."
NOTES: Tickets for Monday night's game will be honored on Thursday. ... Cubs SS Starlin Castro was named NL player of the week. Castro has 17 hits in his last seven games. The 21-year old is third in the majors in hits and ranks second in the NL with 44 multihit games.