The Marlins and Mets are set to square off in a doubleheader at Citi Field on Wednesday, as their scheduled bout Tuesday was postponed due to weather-related poor field conditions in Queens. These games are vital for , as the Marlins now actually control their own destiny, but we'll get to that in a second.
First off, the Marlins were apparently livid about Tuesday's game being called off. Rain had stopped around 5 p.m. ET but the field wasn't deemed to be playable by the time the game was officially called a little after 8 p.m. ET. Due to injuries to Eury Pérez and 2022 Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara, the Marlins are currently operating with only four starting pitchers (Braxton Garrett, Johnny Cueto, Edward Cabrera and Jesús Luzardo). Garrett, the Marlins' best healthy starter, was scheduled to start on Tuesday, but now he's working on Wednesday and would either need to go on short rest Sunday or have Wednesday mark his final start of his season.
As such, it's easy to see why a postponed game -- especially when the team felt like it would be able to play -- would peeve the Marlins. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Marlins were "furious" over the matter. Here's more:
Marlins officials, granted anonymity in exchange for their candor, were told the problem with the playing surface at Citi Field arose because the Mets' grounds crew did not cover the infield Saturday, the first of four straight days of rain. The team was playing in Philadelphia at the time.
The grounds crew eventually put the tarp down, but water got under it, creating a mess. The infield took on so much water from Saturday to Monday, the grounds crew did not have enough of a dry period to get the infield back to a playable condition Tuesday. Both clubs and the commissioner's office then determined the best course of action was to postpone, citing player safety and the importance of the game.
On Wednesday, Mets owner Steve Cohen took to social media to apologize, saying "every effort was made to get the field playable."
In any event, Tuesday ended up being successful for the Marlins. The Cubs had a 6-0 lead in Atlanta and blew the game in the late innings, that brought back memories for many Cubs fans of Brant Brown. Brown is now the Marlins hitting coach, by the way. In the words of the late, great Mel Allen, how about that?
The Marlins enter Tuesday's doubleheader a half-game behind the Cubs for the third NL wild card. They won the season series over the Cubs, though, so they have the tiebreaker, meaning a sweep on Wednesday means they'll be the third wild-card team, regardless of the Cubs' result. The Cubs have two more games against the Braves before playing three against a Brewers team that would surely love to eliminate them.
Meantime, the Marlins have three games left against each the Mets and Pirates, both non-contenders (though it should be noted they aren't in the "hapless" category like the Rockies, A's or Royals, for example).
Basically, the doubleheader in Queens on Wednesday will go a long way in deciding the final spot in the NL wild-card race and the Marlins are in the proverbial driver's seat.