Cubs postponed after yet another bout with Mother Nature, doubleheader set for Saturday

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WASHINGTON — As if a stretch of 23 games in 23 days wasn't already difficult enough, now the Cubs have a rain postponement mixed in there.

More than four hours of rain delays Friday evening resulted in moving the game until Saturday.

First pitch of the doubleheader will be at 2:05 p.m. Chicago time, still on NBC Sports Chicago as originally scheduled. The second game will begin 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

Before anybody threw a pitch Friday night, the game was delayed for over an hour. It was halted again right as Jon Lester was walking to the batter's box in the top of the second inning as the sky opened up and it started pouring.

Two hours and 59 minutes after that halt in play, the game was finally called and pushed to Saturday.

Jon Lester will not be available for Saturday's game and the Cubs will roll with recently signed veteran Jaime Garcia in Game 1 against Max Scherzer and Cole Hamels in Game 2 (the Nats have not announced their starter yet).

On the one hand, this is good news for the Cubs in that they were down most of their "A" relievers Friday due to recent work — Pedro Strop, Steve Cishek, Justin Wilson and Jesse Chavez were all unavailable. 

The bad news is they also now just wasted their ace (Lester) in a game that should've never started in the first place. And now the bullpen has to cover the entirety of Game 1, though at least the expanded rosters helps make that a whole lot easier.

It also isn't really a day of rest amid this brutal stretch for the Cubs given they had to warm up and played an inning and now will have to play two games on Saturday, plus a day game Sunday and then travel Sunday night back home to Chicago for an all-important three-game series with the Brewers at Wrigley Field beginning Monday night.

The Cubs' next off-day is Thursday, which Joe Maddon joked the players and coaches won't know what to do with themselves after not having a day away from the park in more than three weeks.

But the Cubs are 12-5 on this tough stretch with six games remaining.

"Why would I complain? We're playing well," Maddon said before Friday's "game." "We're playing often, we're playing well. The biggest thing I have is the rest component with players. ... You can't ask for more from your guys. I mean, the way we've handled all this, I have nothing to complain about. We've been pretty impressive."

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