(Photo credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Two heavy rain storms in the New York area will force the Mets to play a pair of doubleheaders during the final week of a disappointing season.
The Mets will have to wait a couple more days to find out if their season will end with a far more unusual coda on Monday afternoon.
New York is slated to play its second doubleheader in a 72-hour span on Saturday, when the Mets host the Philadelphia Phillies.
Right-hander Tylor Megill (8-8, 4.92 ERA) and left-hander Jose Quintana (3-6, 3.39), who were scheduled to start for the Mets on Friday and Saturday, likely will pitch in some order for New York.
Right-hander Taijuan Walker (15-5, 4.35 ERA), Friday's scheduled starter for the Phillies, is expected to start one game of the doubleheader. Philadelphia's rotation for the rest of the weekend is uncertain as the team prepares for the playoffs.
With several inches of rain falling in the New York City area, Friday's game was postponed almost eight hours before the scheduled 7:10 p.m. first pitch.
The rain began Thursday night, when the Mets had their game against the Miami Marlins suspended due to a downpour in the top of the ninth inning just after the visitors scored twice to take a 2-1 lead.
The Phillies closed out the home portion of their regular-season schedule Thursday night by falling to the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2.
While the Phillies (89-70) will spend Monday preparing for a wild-card series, the Mets (72-86) may have to appear at Citi Field to help determine Philadelphia's opponent.
The Marlins (82-76) hold a 1 1/2-game lead over the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds, both 82-78, in the race for the National League's final wild-card spot. Miami is also a half-game behind the second wild-card position, held by the Arizona Diamondbacks (84-76).
The suspended game would be resumed if it impacts the Marlins' pursuit of the third wild card. Miami has the tiebreaker over both the Cubs and the Reds.
However, The Athletic reported on Friday the game also might be completed if the Marlins have locked up the third wild-card berth yet still have a chance at catching the Diamondbacks.
"It's what we do for a living -- we play games," Mets manager Buck Showalter said late Thursday night. "If that means play another game, we'll play."
With the Phillies locked into the top wild-card spot, manager Rob Thomson said Thursday that left-hander Cristopher Sanchez -- who pitched in relief in 18 of his first 22 major league appearances before moving into the rotation this season and making 18 starts -- would relieve Walker to prepare for a potential postseason bullpen role.
"It's just a matter of coming into the middle of a game as opposed to starting a game," Thomson said. "It's just getting used to that. He should be good, and that's one of the reasons why we're doing it. It's not two hours of getting ready -- long-tossing and all that. But it will come back pretty quick."
Walker and Megill are slated to oppose each other for the second straight start. Neither pitcher factored into the decision on Sept. 22, when Walker gave up two runs over six innings and Megill surrendered three runs in six innings in the Phillies' 5-4, 10-inning win.
Walker, who spent the previous two seasons with the Mets before signing a four-year, $72 million deal with the Phillies last December, is 1-2 with a 2.73 ERA in five career starts against New York. He is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in three outings vs. the Mets this year.
Megill is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts against the Phillies. He was the winning pitcher on April 29, 2022, when he threw the first five innings of a combined no-hitter in New York's 3-0 victory over Philadelphia.
Quintana opposed the Phillies on Sept. 23, when he took the defeat after allowing six runs (five earned) over six innings in the Mets' 7-5 loss. He is 0-2 with a 3.50 ERA in eight career starts against Philadelphia.
--Field Level Media