Mets’ COVID-19 cases derails Subway Series with Yankees this weekend

MLB: Exhibition-New York Yankees at New York Mets
Jul 18, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) hits a single against the New York Yankees during the third inning of a preseason game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York’s baseball fans will have to wait a little while longer for the first Subway Series showdown of the season between the Mets and Yankees.

The three-game set scheduled for this weekend at Citi Field (without fans) was postponed Friday, a day after two members of the Mets organization tested positive for COVID-19. Major League Baseball said the postponement of this weekend’s series was made out of an abundance of caution and to allow for further testing of Mets players and staff.

It’s the first time that an entire three-game set between the Mets and Yankees has been cancelled since Major League Baseball began interleague play in 1997. There have been occasional rainouts in the regular season Subway Series during its 23-year history — leading to crosstown doubleheaders in 2000, 2003 and 2008 — but nothing comparable to this year’s cancellation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There’s no word yet on when those games will be made up, or when the Mets will be cleared to resume playing. ESPN reported that, to date, 36 MLB games have been postponed since the start of the abbreviated season in late July due to COVID-19 outbreaks on individual teams.

The St. Louis Cardinals, after an outbreak within their squad, wound up going more than two weeks between games, and were scheduled to play 10 doubleheaders for the remainder of the season to make up for the postponements.

It figures that the Mets will need to play at least one doubleheader with the Yankees to make up for the postponement of the Subway Series. The Mets are scheduled to face the Yankees in the Bronx on Aug. 28-30.

Both teams have Monday, Aug. 24, off, so that may pose an opportunity for a doubleheader if MLB clears the Mets to resume play. If that doesn’t work, they could face each other on their next joint off-day, Thursday, Sept. 3, but the Yankees already have a doubleheader with the Baltimore Orioles scheduled for Sept. 4.

The Mets have yet to play a doubleheader under the new format enacted this season, in which both games are shortened to 7 innings.

It’s not clear whether the Mets will make up their game in Miami with the Marlins that was lost on Aug. 20, when the outbreak was first reported. The Mets are due to face the Marlins at Citi Field this Tuesday, Aug. 25, should they get the all-clear from MLB.

As for the Yankees, they’re scheduled to fly to Atlanta to face the Braves on Tuesday night.