Tuesday night’s game between the Nationals and Dodgers at Nationals Park has been postponed due to the inclement weather blanketing the Washington, D.C. region tonight. The two teams were set to open a three-game series. Instead, there will be a two-night doubleheader on Wednesday.

Jordan Zimmermann (10-8, 3.01) will start Game 1 at 4:05 p.m. John Lannan (3-0, 2.41) takes Game 2 about 30 minutes after that one. They are expected to be opposed by Aaron Harang (9-9, 3.79) and then Josh Beckett (6-13, 4.94) for Los Angeles. Washington manager Davey Johnson left open the option of switching that because he hadn’t yet talked with pitching coach Steve McCatty or either pitcher before meeting the media around 5 p.m. But that’s the plan for now.

The Nats’ magic number is three to clinch a playoff spot and Los Angeles is the team they are trying to eliminate. The magic number for the National League East is still 11 after the weekend sweep in Atlanta. The second-place Braves (85-63), now just five games out, are still set to play at Miami on Tuesday night.

Because Washington will now need a sixth starter for its Sunday game against the Milwaukee Brewers – and since Stephen Strasburg has been shelved for the season – Johnson will turn to his bullpen for a spot starter. That will be either Craig Stammen, Zach Duke or Chien-Ming Wang. Johnson wanted time to check the numbers for all three against the Brewers hitters before making a decision there.

“I just don’t want to go to any of my good young pitchers to bring them back on short notice at this point,” Johnson said. “I don’t think [Zimmermann] has done it and he’s had a little bit of that [right shoulder] inflammation there. I think he could do it and have no problem. But it’s not something I like to do any of those in our rotation at this point.”

Follow me on Twitter @bmcnally14