If the Marlins Miss the Playoffs, They Can Blame It on the Rain — And the Mets Grounds Crew

Miami may have to return to New York to make up a suspended game

A soggy shot of Citi Field in Queens.
Play was suspended in the top of the ninth inning at Citi Field.

A day after being forced to play a doubleheader in the final days of a heated MLB playoff race because a failure by the grounds crew to cover the unused field in Flushing as Tropical Storm Ophelia pelted New York City led to a postponement of Tuesday’s game, the Marlins waited more than three hours to finish the ninth inning on Thursday before their final game with the Mets was suspended early Friday morning.

As a result of the game being suspended, the Marlins, who are now in Pittsburgh for a three-game series with the Pirates that also could be affected by the weather, may have to travel back to New York on Monday to complete the game against the Mets if it’s needed to determine a postseason spot. If it isn’t needed, the game would be called and the score would revert to a 1-0 Mets victory, per The Associated Press.

The Marlins (82-76) currently hold the third and final NL wild-card spot and are sitting a half-game ahead of the Cubs (82-77) who lost at Atlanta on Thursday and will finish their season with three games in Milwaukee against the Brewers, the NL Central champions.

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Miami was leading 2-1 with two outs in the ninth inning when the game was suspended. Here’s the reasoning according to Rule 7.02 (a)(5): A suspended game shall be resumed and completed as follows: Weather, if the game is called before it is a regulation game, or if a regulation 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.

After the decision to potentially delay the conclusion of the game until Monday was reached, Marlins general manager Kim Ng spoke to the media for less than a minute before the team departed for Pittsburgh. “I don’t really want to get into details at this point,” she said. “Without getting into the details, obviously this is an unfortunate incident right now.”

Whether it’s the Marlins or Cubs who clinches the final postseason berth, the winner of the final playoff spot will travel to Milwaukee to take on the No. 3 seed Brewers in the NL Wild Card Series on Tuesday. If the Marlins have to play on Monday in order to play the following day in Milwaukee, they’ll forget all about being upset about it as long as they beat the Mets. Given what a washout New York’s season has been, they probably will.

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