The Miami Marlins and the New York Mets had to wait for more than three hours to find out the fate of their series finale on Thursday night, only to learn that the game was suspended due to heavy rainfall at Citi Field. The Marlins, who are fighting for the third NL wild card spot, had taken a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth inning, but the Mets still had a chance to bat in the bottom half. The game is scheduled to resume on Monday at 1:10 p.m. ET, if the playoff race is still undecided by then.
Marlins rally in the ninth, but rain intervenes
The game was scoreless until the eighth inning, when former Marlin Rafael Ortega drove in Brett Baty with a single off lefty Andrew Nardi, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. The Marlins, however, responded in the ninth against righty Grant Hartwig and lefty Anthony Kay. Bryan De La Cruz led off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jazz Chisholm Jr. then tied the game with a double off the left-field wall, and pinch-hitter Yuli Gurriel followed with the go-ahead single to left. Xavier Edwards flied out and Jon Berti singled before the umpires called for the tarp with two outs and runners on first and second.
The rain delay lasted for more than three hours, as both teams and MLB officials waited for a window to resume play. At one point, the grounds crew removed the tarp from the infield, but the outfield and foul territory remained soggy. Marlins GM Kim Ng and manager Skip Schumaker met with Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo on the field, while Pete Alonso, Josh Bell and Chisholm Jr. also had a conversation near the Marlins’ dugout. However, the rain did not stop, and the game was officially suspended at 12:58 a.m. on Friday.
Marlins’ playoff hopes hang in the balance
The suspension of the game could have significant implications for the Marlins, who are vying for their first postseason appearance since 2003. The Marlins (82-76) are currently half a game ahead of the Chicago Cubs (82-77) and 1.5 games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds (81-78) for the third NL wild card spot. The Marlins hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over both teams, as well as the second tiebreaker of intradivisional record. The Marlins are 26-25 against the NL East, while the Cubs are 22-31 against the NL Central and the Reds are 20-29.
The Marlins are scheduled to play three games in Pittsburgh this weekend, while the Cubs face the Milwaukee Brewers and the Reds take on the St. Louis Cardinals. The Marlins’ magic number to clinch a playoff berth is three, meaning any combination of Marlins wins and Cubs or Reds losses that adds up to three will secure their spot. However, if the playoff race is still tight by Sunday, the Marlins might have to return to New York on Monday to finish the game against the Mets. The winner of the third NL wild card spot will face the No. 3 seed Milwaukee Brewers in the NL wild card series, which starts on Tuesday.
Mets play spoiler role, look ahead to next season
The Mets, who have been eliminated from playoff contention, have played the spoiler role in this series, as they did in their previous series against the Boston Red Sox. The Mets won the first game of the doubleheader on Wednesday, 4-3, thanks to a walk-off single by Francisco Lindor. The Marlins bounced back in the second game, 6-2, behind a strong outing by Sandy Alcantara and a three-run homer by Lewis Brinson. The Mets have a 75-83 record and are in fourth place in the NL East, behind the Atlanta Braves, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Marlins.
The Mets have had a disappointing season, marred by injuries, underperformance and controversy. They fired their GM Jared Porter in January after he was accused of sexual harassment, and their acting GM Zack Scott was arrested for DUI in August. They also had a public feud with their fans, as some players, including Lindor and Javier Baez, made a thumbs-down gesture to express their displeasure with the booing. The Mets have some decisions to make in the offseason, as Baez, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman are among their pending free agents. The Mets also have to find a new GM and a new manager, as Luis Rojas is unlikely to return.