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Cubs, Nationals Postponed; Makeup Date Thursday At 1:20

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The scoreboard alerts fans that the game between the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs has been postponed because of rain on August 8, 2011 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
The scoreboard alerts fans that the game between the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs has been postponed because of rain on August 8, 2011 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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There must be something about playing a night game at Wrigley Field on August 8 that angers the rain gods.

Just as 23 years ago tonight, on the date of the first scheduled night game at Wrigley Field, a large cluster of thunderstorms blew through Chicago today. It started about 4 p.m. -- just about the time a day game would have ended today -- and, oddly enough, was starting to slack off at approximately 7:40, exactly when tonight's scheduled game between the Cubs and Nationals was called.

It will be made up as a day game on Thursday, August 11 at 1:20 p.m. CT. Carrie Muskat tweeted the info about the upcoming pitching rotation:

#Cubs pitching will stay in order. Garza on Tue, Lopez on Wed, Dempster on Thursday in makeup game.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Which is fine, I suppose, although with the "off" day winding up being today instead of Thursday, they could have skipped Lopez's turn and thrown Matt Garza tomorrow, Ryan Dempster (who pitched Friday) on Wednesday, and Carlos Zambrano (who went Saturday) on Thursday. Anyway, that means Randy Wells will pick up with an extra day's rest Saturday in Atlanta, with Big Z opening that series on Friday.

I don't really have any complaints about the way things were handled this afternoon and evening; it rained pretty hard and no players were on the field at all -- except for Dempster and someone else I didn't recognize, who spent about 20 minutes throwing a football around in the rain. Dempster puts a pretty spiral on the ball. Say -- the Bears still need a decent backup, don't they?

About 7,500 people showed up for the evening's festivities, most of them taking shelter beneath the stands. Disappointed were several hundred Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, who were lined up in the concourse and were going to get to walk on the warning track in a pre-game ceremony. I assume that will be rescheduled.

Can you imagine if this had been the day for the Ron Santo statue unveiling? At least right now, the weather forecast for the next few days looks very nice. And that's unusual enough this year; after having no postponements and only one game significantly delayed by rain in 2010 (this one), there have been 11 games rain-delayed and four postponed, an unusually large number. If you have a ticket for Monday night's game, it will be good for the game on Thursday. Once again, however, the Cubs have posted this fan-unfriendly ticket policy for this game:

The game has been rescheduled to Thursday, August 11, beginning at 1:20 p.m. Fans should retain their tickets from tonight's postponement to be used for the rescheduled contest on Thursday, August 11 at 1:20 p.m.

There will be no refunds and no exchanges for the August 8th game.

So in other words, if you were planning on going (or did go) Monday night and can't go Thursday afternoon, you're out of luck. I cannot think of a less fan-friendly policy than this, especially since most other teams offer exchanges.

Perhaps next season, the Cubs will be scheduled out of town on August 8. It'd be nice to have some dry weather here this time of year.