Rosenthal: Marlins, fighting for playoff spot, fiery game vs. Mets postponed

The New York Mets may not be in a tight race, but it appears they made an impact on Tuesday night without even playing a game.

Miami Marlins officials were upset that their game against the Mets at Citi Field was postponed due to unplayability. The last of Tropical Storm Ophelia’s rain stopped around 5 p.m., but despite efforts by the Mets grounds crew to make the field playable, play was called off shortly after 8 p.m.

For the Marlins, who currently trail the Cubs by a half-game for the third NL wild-card spot, rescheduling the game as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday could have big implications. Left-hander Braxton Garrett, Miami’s best remaining starter, was scheduled to pitch Tuesday night. Instead, he will pitch in the first game on Wednesday, leaving him unable to start Sunday’s season finale until he returns on three days’ rest.

Marlins officials, granted anonymity in exchange for their candor, reported that the problem with the playing surface at Citi Field arose because the Mets’ grounds crew covered the infield on Saturday, the first of four consecutive days of rain. did not do. The team was playing in Philadelphia at the time.

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Ground crews eventually put the tarpaulin down, but water got under it, creating a mess. The infield was so flooded from Saturday through Monday that the grounds crew did not have enough of a dry period to get the infield back to playable condition on Tuesday. Both the clubs and the commissioner’s office then decided that the best course of action was to postpone the action, citing player safety and the importance of the game. Mets general manager Billy Eppler did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Marlins (81-75) have been one of the biggest surprises of the season, overcoming several injuries and a bottom-five offense throughout the season to remain in contention for their first postseason berth since their World Series title in 2003. Found. They will play three games. against the Mets over the next two days, then finish their season with three at Pittsburgh.

After Garrett starts in the opening game on Wednesday, the Marlins will use a bullpen game in the nightcap. Currently without their two best starters, right-handers Sandy Alcantara (right UCL sprain) and Yuri Pérez (left SI joint inflammation), they are relying on Garrett and fellow lefty Jesus Luzardo to carry them. And now Garrett’s availability for the season finale could be compromised.

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(Photo: Jim MacIsaac/Getty Images)

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