Phillies-Mets finale postponed by rain

deGrom to start Friday vs. Rockies, followed by Lucchesi (Saturday) and Stroman (Sunday)

April 15th, 2021

NEW YORK -- For the sixth time this season, the Mets did not play a scheduled baseball game.

Thursday’s game against the Phillies was postponed due to rain, which washed over the Tri-State area throughout the morning hours. About a half-hour before the game’s scheduled 12:10 p.m. ET first pitch, the rain grew heavier, prompting a delay and eventually a postponement.

The game will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader beginning at 4:10 p.m. ET on June 25. (Tickets for Thursday’s game will not be honored for the doubleheader. Fans holding such tickets will receive credit valid for a future game.)

Due to weather and COVID-19-related postponements, the Mets have played just eight games in 15 days this season.

“We know that the weather’s been a challenge,” manager Luis Rojas said. “We’ve just got to focus on being prepared to play when our next time is.”

Right now, that next time is scheduled for Friday in Denver, where the weather isn’t expected to be any better. Temperatures for Friday and Saturday night could dip into the 20s, with some snow in the forecast. Mets officials have already told the Rockies that they won’t take batting practice on the field, which is generally standard practice before the first game of a series. Still, the Mets are “expecting to play” on Friday at Coors Field, per Rojas.

Assuming they do, Jacob deGrom will start, one day after he was scheduled to pitch against the Phillies at Citi Field. The postponement does carry some advantages for the Mets, who had been planning to use a spot starter -- possibly reliever Robert Gsellman, who has yet to appear in a game -- Saturday at Colorado. Instead, deGrom will go on Friday, followed by Joey Lucchesi on Saturday and Marcus Stroman on Sunday.

That is, provided the weather doesn’t interrupt the Mets again.

“The month of April, in history, there have been some disruptions in playing,” Rojas said. “I think we can find a way to be prepared. We just did it when we had those two days before this series, and we just won three games in a row against the Phillies. So I think the guys will be prepared.”

Sluggish early in April after their opening series in Washington was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns, the Mets had indeed established some momentum before their latest rainout, even matching their longest winning streak of 2020 with three in a row at Citi Field. Their hope is that they can maintain those vibes behind deGrom, who has produced a 0.64 ERA in two outings.

“It’s been kind of a weird, rocky start, not because of our play, but because of the inconsistency from outside factors that we can’t control,” first baseman Pete Alonso said this week. “So I think the more that we get blessings from the weather and are allowed to play on a consistent basis … the more consistent we’re going to be.”

By the time the Mets make up Thursday’s game in June, they could also have starters Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard back in their rotation. Another benefit is the fact that seven-inning doubleheaders allow them to mask the deficiencies of their middle-relief corps, with fewer innings to cover. Still another is that this particular rainout gave the Mets a chance to leave New York City ahead of schedule, potentially avoiding a lengthy delay due to snow squalls in Colorado.

Consider them small victories for a club that’s as disappointed as its fan base regarding the lack of consistent games this season.

“Yeah, we didn’t play today,” Rojas said. “We wanted to play. But what else can we do? We’ll just shift toward [Friday], and we’ll see what comes our way. We’ll be ready to play the Rockies.”