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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Amazin’ Delays 2023

I’ve never felt more like Jack Buck after returning home from a ballgame, for “I don’t believe that I don’t know what I just saw!”

Did I see the Mets play the Marlins? Pretty sure I did. That was important to me, as, entering Thursday, I had not seen the Mets play the Marlins in person yet in 2023, and I’ve seen the Mets play the Marlins in person at least once (usually too much) in every non-pandemic season since 1997. I can confidently write “Miami” in The Log after having personally observed them in action versus the Mets.

Did I see the Mets beat the Marlins? I don’t think I did. True, the Mets led the Marlins, 1-0, at the end of the eighth, the last completed inning of the evening before a downpour made the field unplayable during the top of the ninth. With all those qualifiers, and knowing what we know about an official game, it kind of reads like a Mets win. But I was there, watching through the press box window, and I’d have to swear on a stack of media guides that I did not witness a winning effort on the part of the home team. For a few minutes, I thought it might be. I thought it might be rued in Marlin lore as The Rafael Ortega Game once the little-used outfielder, subbing for Brandon Nimmo once Nimmo left with an injury, drove in, after seven-and-a-half scoreless innings, the game’s only run. What lovely reprisal for not only [your choice of crime inflicted upon Metsdom by the Teal Menace], but Jesus Luzardo’s ten strikeouts across seven-and-a-third innings.

The Citi Field tarp is perpetrating a coverup, preventing us from finding out whether the Mets won, lost, tied or even played Thursday night.

Did I see the Marlins beat the Mets? We were likely getting close to that eventuality, what with the Marlins usurping that thin 1-0 lead of the Mets and transforming it into a 2-1 edge of their own in the top of the ninth off noted closers Grant Hartwig and Anthony Kay. Hey, it’s only a game with an impact on the entire postseason picture. Might as well try whoever you have out in the pen to finish off a contender. Ah, what’s a closer but a label? Neither Hartwig (who did put up a zero in the eighth) nor Kay lived up to the example set by David Peterson, who not only shut out the Marlins for seven innings (with 8 Ks and a touch of help from a six-minute two-team video review challenge that correctly removed a Marlin run from the scoreboard), but has never given up a run the three times I’ve attended starts of his: 19 IP, 0 R. How am I not on Peterson’s pass list? Reed Garrett became the third pitcher of the ninth just in time to give up a hit and then be overtaken by a tarp that was about as welcome in the ninth inning as a skunk at a picnic…or the Marlins anywhere.

Did I see the Mets-Marlins game suspended? Not until after I bolted the hermetically sealed comfort of the press box to take on the rain, the rails and the ride home. Good call, I have to say. When I exited Citi Field, the rain delay was about 50 minutes old. When I walked into my living room and flipped on SNY, the delay was well past the two-hour mark, and an impromptu Amazin’ Finishes marathon was in progress, punctuated by live shots of the tarp sitting on the infield, nudged off the infield, and returned to the infield — with Skip Schumaker registering his displeasure with Mother Nature’s timing and nerve. Altogether, it took three hours and seventeen minutes of steady precipitation for the powers that be to decide no more baseball would be attempted in Flushing this early Friday morning. What could have been The Rafael Ortega Game devolved into that night we kind of inconvenienced the Marlins.

Did anybody see or hear anything definitively conclusive about concluding the Mets-Marlins game? MLB, in whose hands this rests, basically replaced that batter in its logo with a shrug emoji. Late-breaking consensus, however, has formed around the Marlins having to fly back to New York from Pittsburgh to finish the game Monday if necessary to determine Wild Card clinching…or maybe just in general. Baseball likes its games completed, though if Miami already has a playoff spot in the bag (they’ve got a half-game lead on the Cubs plus a tiebreaker), one isn’t sure why the hell they’d wing their way to Gotham to secure what I hate to call a meaningless win, because we see meaning in everything in baseball, but c’mon. If there’s no berth and no seeding at stake, what lures the Marlins for an inning-and-a-third rendezvous with density?

Yet if the game isn’t over — and it’s not — and they don’t pick it up, what exactly happened Thursday night?

The ol’ “in the event of rain, the score reverts back to the last complete inning” rule that would effectively erase the two runs Hartwig and Kay gave up doesn’t exist any longer, so there’s no slipping this one into the win column for the Mets on a technicality, but you really can’t say the visitors have prevailed if the home team isn’t granted last licks.

I’d get a kick out saying I saw the first Mets tie in 42 years, but it wasn’t tied when the tarp came out to halt play.

The Marlins could forfeit on the grounds that by Monday, if they’ve clinched, they’ll have better things to do, like prepare for the playoffs ASAP, but Schumaker doesn’t appear to be of a mind to give the Mets anything other than another piece of his mind.

The game could magically disappear from the team’s respective won-lost records, sort of a virtual tie, with all player stats standings, but what’s the basis for that, exactly? MLB has been suspending and resuming otherwise obvious rainouts for a few years now, sometimes insipidly, but to date, a suspended game with real ramifications and little time to tighten its loose ends hasn’t had to absolutely, positively be finished. Finishing it with the Marlins’ and the Cubs’ and maybe the Reds’ playoff fates in the balance would be one thing (even if it’s for four outs and would be a nuisance to every Met whose U-Haul will be double-parked on Seaver Way), but to finish it because every team is required to file in its ledger 162 indisputable results?

I live for the bookkeeping of baseball, but even I think there ought to be a classy way out of finishing this game if there are no serious implications on the table. Yet I did go to this game, and my Log wants to know what I just saw. As of this moment, I can’t write it down as a loss, I can’t write it down as a win and I can’t write it down as a tie. I can’t even pencil it in as a suspended game if I don’t know for sure that it will be rescued from suspended animation. I’ve already written down that I saw the Marlins, as I have in every non-pandemic season since 1997, and I’ve already written down that I saw Peterson, who clearly loves to pitch in front of me. But I can’t write down what “my” record is against the Marlins at Citi Field (it was 22-13 coming in); or “my” lifetime record at Citi Field (currently 179-132 with one dangling “?”); or the W/L aspect of the game; or its final score. I’ll need a dab more information to finish this entry, thank you very much.

Come in from out of the rain and listen to a new episode of National League Town.

18 comments to Amazin’ Delays 2023

  • Curt Emanuel

    I wanted to get revenge on the Marlins by beating them on the field. But between last night and the wet-out/DH debacle maybe we’ve done that by pretending to be an American Legion Team, at least when it comes to taking care of the field.

    And Anthony Kay in the 9th inning of a one-run game? Not that we have any good options but still . . . Good on David Peterson finishing the year strong.

    • Eric

      If the alternative to Kay was Gott, Bickford, etc., then he may as well go with Kay, but I wonder why Showalter didn’t use Raley in that spot.

      As far as revenge on the Marlins, imagine this: Somehow the 3rd wildcard is decided by the suspended game on Monday with the whole MLB world watching. Marlins wrap up the win and play Tuesday in Milwaukee. Or the Mets come back, walk it off, and send the Marlins home. That would finish the 2023 season for both teams with a bang. Revenge achieved dramatically with a nice note for us to recall beside Senga’s rookie season. Of course, if the Mets meekly lost the game with the Marlins now celebrating their playoff berth at Citi Field instead of PNC Park, that would be a bonus gut punch to pile on the Mets 2023 season.

  • eric1973

    Maybe last night’s game was a mirage, as is any game where where Peterson is effective.

    If he is anywhere near the starting rotation next season, we will know we lost the offseason.

    And you gotta believe more in ’24.

  • Flynn23

    “MLB, in whose hands this rests, basically replaced that batter in its logo with a shrug emoji.”

    I just wanted to drop this brilliantly hilarious line here for anyone who may have skimmed over it. Thank you, Greg. You are the BEST. Win, lose or tie … or whatever!

  • Jon

    Last night’s rain delay and potential loss are both Showalter’s. Hartwig was pitching well, giving up only a single to 5 batters, and had thrown 18 pitches. Why take him out and put in career lousy pitcher Kay (and then Garrett)? Hartwig gets two more outs and everyone goes home before the rain comes.

  • Seth

    Hartwig is not without blame here, as he put the tying run on base. Heaven forbid that this crowd of gasoline throwers could hold on to a 1-run lead. All he needed to do was retire the Pescatarians 1-2-3 and everyone would be home instead of watching the grass get watered.

  • Eric

    Greg, since you were there: How hard was it raining at Citi Field when the game was suspended? Which is it to say, was it a realistic option at that point for the teams to play through the rain?

    Was Raley’s 19 pitches to Kay’s 9 pitches the previous night the deciding factor for which lefty to bring in for the match-up with Chisholm? It’s not like Raley has been overworked lately. Given that the Phillies have wrapped up the 1st wildcard, this was the last meaningful game for the standings that the Mets played (or will still play) this year: I would have gone with Raley. I also would have trusted Raley more to navigate the righty bats after Chisholm. Oh well.

    Kay was like most of the Mets’ bullpen churn this season. He was promising enough in his 1st appearances, 2 games in his case, to warrant a hopeful look at higher leverage, but then was awful when called on in a higher leverage situation. When speculating the ‘what if’ the Mets stood pat at the trade deadline, the biggest hurdle to imagining the Mets making a run is the bullpen.

    It’s fun that with the Mets long eliminated and playing out the string against a team locked into its playoff berth, they can still give us a new wrinkle with the suspended game that will set an MLB precedent. As Greg asked, I wonder if the game will be resumed if it doesn’t affect the wildcard race, and if the game isn’t resumed, how it will be recorded.

    Greg left out that the Padres are still alive for the 3rd wildcard. By the barest of margins but alive nonetheless. They were tied with the Mets at 68-78, so I’m impressed they made it this far. The Mets simply beating the Marlins 1-0 so they stayed at 82 wins would have kept the Padres alive. But the suspended game adds a twist. It will be fun if the Mets are thrust back into the center of the playoff race with the 3rd wildcard being decided by the finish of the suspended Mets-Marlins game on Monday, especially if everything breaks right for the Padres this weekend.

    It sucks that there’s only three games (and possibly one resumed game) left in the season.

    • It was raining enough to pause the game in a middle inning, and it was steady enough to figure it wasn’t going to pass. Factor in player safety and they had to do what they had to do, even if it was the ninth. The six-minute double replay challenge loomed large, it turned out.

      I considered mentioning the Padres, but so much would have to happen to involve them, I chose not to.

  • eric1973

    Speaking of suspended games, I was given free tickets to the Yankees-Minnesota game in 1975 when the Yankees were playing at Shea. The game had numerous rain delays and was finally suspended at 1AM due to the AL curfew in place at the time.

    They were scheduled to finish the next day, without us of course, but that game and the regular game was rained out as well.

    The game had to be completed later in the season in Minnesota.

    Good Times!

  • Seth

    Usually when the bullpen blows a game (we have lots of experience with this), you at least get some kind of closure. Now we might always wonder if the Mets would have come back to tie or walk it off. My bets are on Hartwig getting the big L. I’m in suspense (literally)!

  • Eric

    More thoughts about the suspended game:

    How much do the Mets and teams in general care about the standings in terms of the draft lottery? Even if the suspended game carries no playoff implications by the end of the weekend, a win or loss on the record could affect the Mets’ odds of ‘winning’ that protected top-six pick.

    If the game is resumed and there are no playoff implications, I wonder what the line-ups and rosters will look like. Does the regular-season injured list carry over into the post-season? If not, I could see the Marlins IL’ing many players to avoid any chance of injury to any player who matters for the post-season. The Mets might do that, too, keeping in mind the draft lottery question and that they have no post-season considerations. It would be bad for a Mets player to suffer a long-term injury in a meaningless resumed game at the end of the season.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    As a person who roots for stuff to go wrong for The Esablishment (in this case MLB) when there’s not much else to root for, it just doesn’t get any better thasn this. Oh boy do I hope to see them playing a 4 out game in Queens on Monday. With Nimmo out, I wonder if Ron Guidry is available to play Center Field…

  • Henry J Lenz

    I can’t believe what I just saw! My signature moment, mixing Jack’s call of Gibson’s WS HR in LA!

  • eric1973

    Yup, I think Guidry played CF in the George Brett Pine Tar suspended game.

    Thinking back how crazy that was.
    Imagine if HE had gotten hurt.

    I said months ago how all the Mets should just go home before they get all hurt, and now McNeil and Nimmo.


  • Curt Emanuel

    Ken, I had this thought. If Bartolo Colon REALLY wants to retire a Met . . .

    Get out of the 9th, Mets walk it off – not a bad way to go out.

    Or we could ask a member of the grounds crew to guest pitch.

  • Eric

    “The ol’ “in the event of rain, the score reverts back to the last complete inning” rule that would effectively erase the two runs Hartwig and Kay gave up doesn’t exist any longer”

    If I understand the MLB official rules correctly, that rule is still live, at least for this particular circumstance per Rule 7.02(b)(4) on pp 94-95:

    Any suspended game that has progressed far enough
    to become a regulation game, but which has not been
    completed prior to the last scheduled game between the
    two teams
    during the championship season shall become
    a called game, as follows:
    (A)  If one team is ahead, the team that is ahead shall be
    declared the winner (unless the game is called while
    an inning is in progress and before the inning is
    completed, and the visiting team has scored one or
    more runs to take the lead, and the home team has
    not retaken the lead, in which case the score upon
    the completion of the last full inning shall stand
    purposes of this Rule 7.02(b)(4));

    However, if the suspended game in this particular circumstance matters to determine post-season eligibility, then Rule 7.02(b)(5) applies instead:

    Any postponed game, suspended game (that has not
    progressed far enough to become a regulation game), or tie
    game that has not been rescheduled and completed prior to
    the last scheduled game between the two teams during the
    championship season must be played (or continued, in the
    case of a suspended or tie game) to a completed regulation
    , if the Office of the Commissioner determines that
    not playing such game might affect eligibility for the postseason and/or home-field advantage for any Wild Card or
    Division Series game.

    • Eric

      With today’s games completed, Marlins are 84-76, Diamondbacks are 84-77, and both have clinched wildcard berths. Marlins hold the tiebreaker over the Diamondbacks.

      According to MLB Rule 7.02(b)(5), the suspended Mets-Marlins game will be resumed on Monday if the “game might affect eligibility for the postseason and/or home-field advantage for any Wild Card or Division Series game”. But no matter what happens on Sunday, the Marlins and Diamondbacks are both eligible for the postseason and neither will have “home-field advantage for any Wild Card or Division Series game”. Which implies the suspended game now falls under MLB Rule 7.02(b)(4), which means the game will be called an 8-inning, 1-0 Mets win regardless of whether that outcome flips the wildcard seeding for the Marlins and Diamondbacks.

      However, if the MLB Rule 7.02(b)(5) “game might affect eligibility for the postseason” standard covers 2nd or 3rd wildcard seeding no matter that “home-field advantage for any Wild Card or Division Series game” is not at stake, then the Mets and Marlins will resume the suspended game on Monday only if the Marlins lose (i.e., 84-77) and Diamondbacks win (i.e., 85-77) tomorrow.

      The MLB official rules do not specify what’s covered by “eligibility for the postseason” beyond the obvious definition. The “if the Office of the Commissioner determines” condition in the rule implies that Manfred can decide whether the rule covers 2nd and 3rd wildcard seeding. Of note, the Marlins and Diamondbacks’ seeding will affect home-field advantage if the 2nd and 3rd NL wildcards meet in the NLCS like the Padres and Phillies did last year.