Black clouds began to roll in over Nationals Park at nearly the precise moment that Heath Bell picked up a ball and began warming up in the Marlins' bullpen.

The Marlins led the Nationals by a run and manager Ozzie Guillen was entrusting Bell with a ninth-inning save situation for the first time since way back on July 8 — for the first time, in other words, since Bell lost the job.

Bell's big moment would have to wait.

A sudden downpour caused a 153-minute rain delay. But when it finally came, the result was much like so many before it.