Snow hands Mets second straight postponement
Split doubleheader scheuled for Tuesday, but wintry weather remains in forecast
DENVER -- With several inches of snow already on the ground and more expected into the night, the Mets and Rockies postponed Monday's game at Coors Field. The teams will play a split doubleheader Tuesday with start times of 3:10 p.m. and 8:40 p.m. ET.
It was the second consecutive postponement for the Mets, who also did not play Sunday's game in Minnesota due to wintry conditions. The last time the Mets had consecutive games postponed was Aug. 27-28, 2011, due to Hurricane Irene.
Right-hander Dillon Gee, who was originally scheduled to start Sunday in Minnesota, will instead pitch Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader. The Mets have not officially announced a Game 2 starter, though manager Terry Collins indicated that Jeremy Hefner could skip ahead of Aaron Laffey in the rotation to take the ball. Juan Nicasio and Jeff Francis will start for the Rockies in that order.
Of greater issue is that the Mets do not even know if they will be able to play both halves of Tuesday's doubleheader, with additional wintry weather forecast for Tuesday evening. That could force another doubleheader later this week, throwing New York's pitching even further into flux.
"It gets to be tough," Collins said. "Now your pitching is drastically affected, along with your pitching down the line here a little bit.
"It is what it is. I understand the thought process today and I understood the thought process yesterday. But when you're scheduled to play in these seven days in the two towns we're in, you've got a chance to run into some bad weather time of year. We have, and we'll just adjust."
The Mets made do as best they could after learning of the postponement. Several pitchers and catchers, including Matt Harvey, bundled up in blue hooded sweatshirts and orange beanies to play catch in the snow. Left-hander Jon Niese threw off an indoor mound, while hitters took hacks in an indoor cage.
The players outside made sizeable tracks in the snow, which were covered by more snow within minutes.
Flurries began falling in downtown Denver around 3 p.m. ET, more than five hours before Monday's scheduled first pitch. They quickly gained intensity, with flakes steadily throughout the late afternoon and early evening.
Collins said he spent most of the afternoon staring at weather reports.
"We've had every weather service that we could possibly get a hold of," the manager said.
Though Collins said he may not decide upon Tuesday's Game 2 starter until after Game 1 is underway, he referred to Hefner by name when asked about the situation. Bumping Hefner up in the rotation would allow the Mets to keep Laffey, their fifth starter, in reserve in case of further weather problems.
But regardless of what happens with the weather, Collins said, he does not plan to shift Harvey from Friday's scheduled showdown with Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals at Citi Field.
"I don't think I'm going to mess too much with Matt Harvey at this particular moment," Collins said. "I would imagine he's still on track for Friday."
Pitching, of course, is only part of the equation when winter weather is involved. Several Mets position players were concerned Monday that they would not be able to see the baseball amidst an almost entirely white backdrop at Coors Field. Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who attended high school in Colorado, said he had never played baseball in conditions like these.
"We played a couple games where it was snowing, but nothing really heavy on the ground," Nieuwenhuis said. "We definitely got snowed out our fair share, but we always just played doubleheaders later."