Grounds Crew Strikes Again

Rain interrupted a crucial game with NL Wild Card implications. Here’s what went wrong and what comes next for the Marlins.

After splitting a wild doubleheader on Wednesday, the Marlins and Mets took a 0-0 tie into the eighth inning, traded leads, and went into a never-ending rain delay.

Jesús Luzardo pitched the best I’ve seen him this season. His slider was nasty, generating 18 whiffs on 23 swings (78%). Eight of his ten strikeouts came on that slider, all swinging. The other two strikeouts came on the changeup and four-seam fastball. He set a franchise record for strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher in a single season with 208. This places him in third position on the franchise leaderboard for strikeouts in a season behind José Fernández (253 in 2016) and Ryan Dempster (209 in 2000).

Andrew Nardi gave up an inherited runner in the eighth, but the Marlins stormed back for two in the top of the ninth thanks to clutch hits by Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Yuli Gurriel.

At 9:41 PM, with two outs and two runners on, the game went into a delay. What happened afterward can only be described as unacceptable negligence on the part of the New York Mets, specifically their grounds crew. I’m throwing caution to the wind and formatting the rest of this article as a timeline of events, starting with the beginning of the delay.

9:41 PM—Crew chief Alfonso Marquez calls for the tarp to be put on the field and the game is officially put in a delay.

~10:20 PM—Rumor started to spread that the game would be resumed at 10:40 PM.

10:28 PM—The grounds crew removed the wooden blocks that secured the tarp and then proceeded to stand around while the rain continued to worsen.

10:40 PM—The tarp remained on the field. They began to stream the Thursday Night Football game live on the jumbotron.

11:23 PM—While taking a walk around the concourse, I noticed just how deep the standing water had already gotten in left field and on the warning track.

~11:46 PM—The heaviest period of rain.

12:00 AM—Happy Friday.

12:10 AM—The rain slowed significantly, almost to the point of stopping.

12:21 AM—Sound the alarms! Here comes the grounds crew!

The tarp is pulled off the infield, leaving a massive lake of water in the outfield beyond the shortstop position. Both Skip and Kim Ng go out to the field and have some heated conversations with the MLB officials, the head of the grounds crew, and umpire Alfonso Marquez while the grounds crew stands around waiting for someone to make a decision. The rain had briefly stopped!

12:37 AM—The rain starts to pick up again, but the grounds crew begins to prepare the tarp for a roll-up. Then, the MLB officials on the field wave their arms wildly and tell the grounds crew to stop and actually put the tarp back on the field. This time, with the wooden blocks that are used to hold it down for long periods of time. Skip shook hands with the umpire, and it looked like it was the end.

12:49 AM—Three hours and eight minutes after the delay began, the game is officially suspended.


A visibly upset Kim Ng: “This is an unfortunate incident. Right now, we are being told we are going to play on Monday.”

She would not go into details about the conversations that occurred on the field and the effort that was made to complete this game.

So What Happens Now?

Bear with me because this is a lot to digest.

The game is scheduled to be resumed at 1:10 PM on Monday in New York. This will only happen if the game still has implications in the playoff race. Should the Marlins clinch a spot in the postseason over the weekend (their magic number over the Cubs is three), the general consensus is that the game will not be resumed.

What happens to the stats from the game? I’m sure Luzardo is trying to find out the same thing while sitting on the plane with his teammates to Pittsburgh. They could revert back to the previous inning’s circumstances and call it a 1-0 Mets victory. Again, this would only be considered if the Marlins are firmly in or firmly out of the playoffs.

One thing is for certain: if the Miami Marlins make it to the postseason, they’ll have earned it. The Mets and their grounds crew gave the Marlins enough adversity to fill an entire season, let alone one three-game series in September.

Noah’s Notes and What’s Next

  • Before I get to the notes, I would like to personally thank everyone for following along with my coverage of this team all season. It has been a pleasure to cover this team in an incredibly fun and exciting year. I sincerely hope that this is not the end. But if it is, thank you.
  • Isaac Azout is already in Pittsburgh and will have your coverage for the remainder of the regular season. If the Marlins make it and play Milwaukee, I will join him there.
  • TBA vs. TBA tomorrow today at PNC Park.
  • If you’ll excuse me, I have to head to the airport for my 7:29 AM flight.
  • ‘Til Tmrw!

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

4 responses to “Grounds Crew Strikes Again”

  1. I’m a lifelong Mets fan and even I am ticked off about what happened to you all this week. Comedy of errors!

  2. I’m a lifelong Mets fan, and I’m even pissed off about what happened to you all. This week Comedy of errors.

  3. It should read AM not PM on the timeline

    1. Thank you, fixed!

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