Rainout sets up Burnes-deGrom twin bill G1

July 7th, 2021

NEW YORK -- The night began with apocalyptic skies that darkened Citi Field, torrential rains that soaked the area, then lightning bolts that crashed through it all. As several Brewers players gathered on the top step of their dugout, bullpen catcher Nestor Corredor performed a textbook tarp slide from shortstop to third base. The crowd roared in approval.

Two hours later, some enterprising Mets employees set up a Nintendo 64 and began broadcasting their game of “Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball” on the center-field video board. Fans, craving any sort of baseball at all, cheered along as virtual versions of Al Leiter and Jeff D’Amico traded pitches.

But the fun did not last. Just before 10 p.m. ET, the Mets announced that Tuesday’s game against the Brewers had been postponed. It will be made up as part of a split-admission doubleheader on Wednesday, with start times of 2:10 and 7:10 p.m. It will be the Mets’ ninth doubleheader of the season.

“We tried but weather didn’t cooperate,” team owner Steve Cohen wrote on Twitter. “I can control some things but that isn’t one of them.”

Ticketing information related to the rainout is available on the Mets' website. The Mets announced that fans who waited out the nearly three-hour delay will receive a voucher for a future game, along with a concession credit. And that could come in handy, with more rain in the forecast for Wednesday night.

Tuesday’s rainout does set up a dynamic Game 1 pitching matchup between Jacob deGrom and Corbin Burnes on Wednesday afternoon, two of the National League’s top pitchers who would not otherwise have faced each other. The Mets haven’t announced their Game 2 starter, though it is likely to be right-hander Robert Stock. The Brewers will counter with lefty Brett Anderson, who was originally slated to pitch Tuesday.

How this affects deGrom’s availability for the All-Star Game remains to be seen. Initially, deGrom had been scheduled to pitch Tuesday and Sunday, and, given that schedule, he said he didn’t plan to pitch in the Midsummer Classic in Denver. Tuesday’s rainout means deGrom can no longer start Sunday on regular rest, theoretically making him available for All-Star duty. But manager Luis Rojas mentioned earlier Tuesday that deGrom could pitch in relief on Sunday, if he feels up to it.

Either way, Major League rules stipulate that the Mets can petition for deGrom not to pitch if that’s his desire, regardless of his Sunday status; they may do so based on the series of minor injuries he’s endured this year.

“I’ve been a little beat up in this first half and obviously missed a few starts which I wish I wouldn’t have missed, so I don’t think it makes sense for me to throw in [the All-Star Game],” deGrom said earlier in the week.

For now, the Mets are concerned mostly just with getting to the All-Star break intact. Another effect of Tuesday’s rainout is that the Mets will need to find a Sunday starter to replace deGrom.

Stock won’t be available if he pitches on Wednesday, and Corey Oswalt just went on the injured list due to right knee inflammation.

Then again, the Mets won’t mind burning through their entire bullpen in their final game before the break if that’s what they need to complete nine innings.