The rubber game between the New York Mets and Miami Marlins was suspended following increasing rainfall at Citi Field in Queens on Sunday afternoon.
With inclement weather conditions imminent, the Mets still decided to go ahead and start the game. Per MLB rules, it is entirely up to the home team whether or not to start a game that could be impacted by weather — not the umpiring crew, which is a common misconception.
“The home team shall be the sole judge as to whether a game shall not be started because of unsuitable weather conditions or the unfit condition of the playing field, except for the second game of a conventional or split doubleheader,” MLB’s rulebook reads.
The umpiring crew can only decide to delay the game when the action actually begins.
Out came the Mets’ No. 2 starter Marcus Stroman, who hesitantly threw nine pitches in the top of the first inning and took his time doing so — clearly showing an unwillingness to take part in increasingly treacherous conditions as the rainfall only intensified at Citi Field.
“Maybe right now, it was the wrong decision,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said of starting the game.
After asking for a bevy of new baseballs to seemingly stall things, controversial crew chief Ron Kulpa — who awarded the Mets a walk-off win after Michael Conforto stuck his elbow into a strike on Thursday — finally opted to call the grounds crew in to put the tarp on the field.
“Here is what is frustrating about the Mets’ game conditions,” wrote meteorologist Steve DiMartino. “This forecast for steady rain from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. has been locked in for 66 hours ahead of game time with zero windows of dry conditions.”
It put an end to Stroman’s day after those nine pitches as the danger of re-amping a pitcher’s arm back up after a lengthy rain delay is dangerous.
“This game should have never been started,” Stroman wrote on Twitter. “Not smart at all. Those conditions put everyone at risk. Beyond happy no players on either side were injured. Hate that I have to wait another five days to pitch again. That’s a miserable feeling.
“[Francisco] Lindor was standing in a puddle. [Marlins first baseman Jesus] Aguilar couldn’t hold his bat. I want to see everyone healthy for a full season!”
The Mets and Marlins will resume Sunday’s game in a doubleheader on Aug. 31.