NEW YORK -- Due to circumstances largely out of their control, the Mets have endured a disjointed start to their season. The latest issue surfaced when Sunday’s series finale between New York and the Marlins was suspended after seven minutes due to rain. The game will resume on Aug. 31 as part of a split doubleheader beginning at 1:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field.
Over the first 11 days of the season, the Mets have played just five times.
Despite light rain throughout the morning in the tri-state area, the Mets and Marlins began play as scheduled at 1:10 p.m. at Citi Field. Moments later, the rain intensified, prompting Mets starter Marcus Stroman to take significant time between pitches and continually ask for new baseballs. During an at-bat against Jesús Aguilar, there appeared to be confusion as to whether the game would continue. Stroman later tweeted that shortstop Francisco Lindor “was standing in a puddle” and “Aguilar couldn’t hold his bat.”
Umpires called for the tarp at 1:17 p.m., beginning a delay of two hours and 10 minutes. During the delay, Stroman tweeted that “this game should have never been started.”
“Not smart at all,” Stroman continued. “Those conditions put everyone at risk. Beyond happy no players on either side were injured. Hate that I have to wait another 5 days to pitch again. That’s a miserable feeling.”
That last part may not necessarily be accurate, as the Mets have not officially announced if Stroman will return before his five days are up. David Peterson is set to open a four-game series against the Phillies at Citi Field on Monday -- when more rain is forecast -- followed by Taijuan Walker on Tuesday. After that, the Mets have an open slot that could go either to Joey Lucchesi or Stroman, who threw only nine pitches.
“You never want to do that to Stro,” manager Luis Rojas said. “The decision was made because we felt we were going to be able to use Stro [for] the distance. We’ll see in the next few days how he responds.”
Upcoming Mets rotation:
Monday, April 12: David Peterson vs. PHI
Tuesday, April 13: Taijuan Walker vs. PHI
Wednesday, April 14: TBA vs. PHI
Thursday, April 15: Jacob deGrom vs. PHI
The decision to start Sunday’s game was made only after multiple meetings amongst Rojas, members of the Mets’ front office and ballpark operations teams, and a meteorologist. Through those conversations, the Mets came to believe the rain in the area would remain light enough throughout the afternoon for the game to be played.
Shortly after first pitch, however, the rain intensified, leading to Stroman’s demonstrative behavior on the mound and on social media.
“I’m aware he tweeted,” Rojas said. “That’s how Stro is, is outspoken. He’s open, talking, and he says what he feels. … He was just waiting for the communication whether we were going to start on time or not. And then when he was told -- it was me that told him we were on time -- he just kept going with his routine. … I believe he trusted what he heard when we told him it was going to be light rain, mist-like rain.”
For now, the Mets will regroup, knowing they won’t make up their game against the Marlins until Aug. 31. (The suspended game will be nine innings, followed by a seven-inning second game that night.) In the interim, the Mets will prepare to face a Phillies team that took two of three from them last week.