Phillies-Mets postponed Friday; doubleheader on Saturday

September 29th, 2023

NEW YORK -- Days of rain -- from Tropical Storm Ophelia and a separate, unnamed coastal storm behind it -- have thrown a significant wrench in the plans of both the Mets and other teams with late-season games on the East Coast.

The latest effect: A day after suspending Thursday’s game against the Marlins in the ninth inning because of unceasing rain, the Mets postponed their series opener with the Phillies at Citi Field. The teams will make that up as part of a single-admission doubleheader beginning Saturday at 4:10 p.m. ET.

Rain began falling in the ninth inning Thursday, as the Mets attempted to close out a one-run game against the Marlins with untested relievers Grant Hartwig and Anthony Kay, who combined to allow two runs. At that point, the precipitation intensified, puddling on the warning track and forcing the teams to agree to a suspended game after a delay of more than three hours.

“The weather's the weather,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “Our people [groundskeepers] are as good as I’ve been around, and they’re willing to do anything and everything.”

Thursday’s game will be continued Monday if necessary, potentially affecting the Mets’ plans to introduce David Stearns as their president of baseball operations that afternoon. And in the short-term, the Mets have other issues. The rain did not cease overnight, flooding the FDR highway in Manhattan and prompting New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to declare a state of emergency for the five boroughs. That includes Queens and Citi Field, where the playing surface has taken on significant water since Ophelia hit last week -- a situation that forced the Mets to postpone their initial series opener against the Marlins on Tuesday due to unplayable conditions.

It is, in short, a wet mess that the Mets hope will abate in time for their Saturday doubleheader. Tylor Megill and José Quintana are scheduled to make their final starts of the season in those games, in an order to be announced. The Phillies, who have already clinched the fourth seed in the National League, will be using the series mostly just to line up their pitching for the postseason.

Weather forecasts look significantly better for Saturday, with early rain abating sometime around midday. The Mets still have 27 innings (and change) to play this season, and they intend to do so whenever it becomes feasible.

“It’s fine,” Showalter said. “It’s what we do for a living. We play games. If that means playing another game [Monday], we’ll play.”