With the remnants of Hurricane Ian forecasted to impact the Mid-Atlantic region this weekend, Major League Baseball has made alterations to the scheduled series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals.
Previously, the Phillies and Nationals were slated to play a four-game set beginning on Friday night that included a day-night doubleheader on Saturday. MLB announced on Thursday that the night portion of that twin billing will instead be moved to Friday afternoon in an attempt to get all four games in around the inclement weather.
Here's the press release on the matter, courtesy of the Nationals' Twitter account:
This weekend's series is a matter of great significance for the Phillies in a few respects, including the obvious impact it could have on the National League playoff picture. The Phillies, for their part, entered Thursday just a half-game up on the Milwaukee Brewers for the third and final wild-card spot. (The San Diego Padres are 2 1/2 games up on the Phillies for the second wild card slot; the first will go to either the New York Mets or the Atlanta Braves, both are whom well beyond the Phillies' grasp.)
There's also the scheduling dynamic. If the Phillies and Nationals are rained out this weekend, and if the playoff race requires it, then they may have to play a make-up game on Thursday, Oct. 6 -- or, the scheduled day off between the regular season and the beginning of the playoffs.
It's worth remembering that MLB did away with tiebreaker games this season as part of the expanded postseason. The Phillies, then, don't have to worry about a potential Game 163 scenario unfolding in addition to the rest of their potentially hectic week. Tiebreakers will instead be determined by head-to-head record. The Phillies own that tiebreaker over the Brewers, having won four of their six regular-season meetings.