NEW YORK – New Mets owner, same old dysfunction.
Marcus Stroman criticized New York for starting Sunday's game against the Miami Marlins in a steady rain. Stroman's outing lasted just nine pitches before play was stopped, and the game was suspended after a wait of 2 hours, 10 minutes, to be continued as part of a day-night doubleheader on Aug. 31.
“This game should have never been started. Not smart at all,” Stroman tweeted during the delay. “Those conditions put everyone at risk. Beyond happy no players on either side were injured. Hate that I have to wait another 5 days to pitch again. That’s a miserable feeling.”
The Mets, known for confusion at times under the Wilpon and Katz families, were bought during the offseason by hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen, who brought back Sandy Alderson as team president.
Play began at 1:10 p.m. and was halted by plate umpire D.J. Reyburn after seven minutes. Home teams decide whether to start games. Once a game has begun, umpires decide whether to stop play because of bad weather.
“That's how Stro is, is outspoken. He's open, talking and he says what he feels," Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “He did not share anything this morning. He gets ready. He was doing his routine. He was just waiting for the communication, whether we were going to start on time or not.”
Stroman later tweeted: “Media is always misleading in order to gain clicks off controversy. That’s the devil working.”
“My fault for being concerned about the safety of my teammates and I," he wrote. “(Francisco) Lindor was standing in a puddle. Aguilar couldn’t hold his bat. I want to see everyone healthy for a full season!”
Rojas said Mets ballpark operations staff consulted with weather services, and he was the one who told Stroman the game was starting on time. Stroman was not made available to reporters after his brief outing.
Rojas did not think the starting pitcher should be consulted on whether to start in these types of situations.
“This is the process,” the manager said. “The starting pitcher is usually not in the middle of the process of what we're looking (at) there. The communication is the part that they trust. I think it's comes down to a trust thing. And that's what happened today.
"Stro heard the message that we were going, that we were good to play. And I think there was the trust of OK, yeah, we're going. It wasn't the case. And I think that's when we can be disappointed about the decision now. But now we've just got to move forward. I don't think the process is going to change.”
Rojas said it was not clear whether he would have to wait until Friday for his next turn, that the Mets wanted to assess him in the next few days.
Rojas said there were two meetings before the game and the forecast was for a lighter rain to a mist, the second at about noon.
“Maybe right now it's a wrong decision, but it's what we saw,” he said.
While Rojas started Stroman, Miami manager Don Mattingly opted to use reliever John Curtiss as an opener. Curtiss never reached the mound.
“We don’t know quite where we’re going to end up with this weather. They’ve opened the gate, so they obviously are going to try to play,” Mattingly said about 1 hour, 20 minutes before the start. “But the weather is still kind of up in the air so, yeah, I just felt like it (using a reliever) was the safest way for us to go.”
Just two players batted. Corey Dickerson singled and Starling Marte flied out.
Stroman worked deliberately in the rain, throwing out wet balls, and he twice forced Reyburn to get new sets of baseballs.
There were about 1,000 fans in the seats when the game began, and by the time Jesús Aguilar walked up to the batter’s box, the infield dirt was shiny and slick from water. The game was stopped after a pair of splitters in the dirt left a 2-0 count on Aguilar.
“The field got out of hand quick,” Mattingly said. “If they thought it was going to be like that, I don’t think they would have started.”
Michael Conforto was dropped from third to sixth in the batting order. Enterng his last season before becoming eligible for free agency, Conforto is off to a 3 for 21 (.143) start with no homers and three RBIs.
LHP Daniel Castano was recalled from the alternate training site, and OF Lewis Brinson was optioned there.
Marlins: C Jorge Alfaro (left hamstring) has not played since Tuesday and Miami hopes he can play Monday.
Mets: 1B J.D. Davis (bruised left hand from hit by pitch Tuesday) still has discomfort while swinging.
Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (0-1) opens a series at Atlanta, which starts RHP Huascar Ynoa (0-0).
Mets: LHP David Peterson (0-1) starts for the Mets in a series opener against Philadelphia and RHP Chase Anderson (0-1). Taijuan Walker will follow for the Mets in the second game.
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