NEW YORK — It was a nightmare stay at Citi Field for the Miami Marlins.
Two nights after unplayable conditions on the diamond forced a Wednesday doubleheader, the Marlins faced another tedious scenario for their chances of reaching the Major League Baseball playoffs.
After the Marlins took a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth inning against three Mets relievers, the rain began to fall steadily and the tarp was pulled onto the field with two outs in the frame at around 9:40 p.m.
About two hours and 40 minutes later, the tarp was pulled into the outfield and Marlins leadership emerged to assess the field. The game was then suspended after a three-hour and 17-minute delay as rain began to pour down once again.
The soggy situation opened up a precarious spot for the Marlins, who might need the victory to clinch a spot in the playoffs. The game and four final outs could potentially be closed on Monday after the Marlins' three-game series on the road at the Pirates.
"The weather’s the weather" Buck Showalter said. "Our people are as good as I’ve been around. They’re willing to do anything and everything."
With the Chicago Cubs' loss to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night, the Marlins (82-76) hold a half-game edge over the final spot in the National League wild card race.
Marlins manager Skip Schumaker was animated as he had a conversation with the Mets grounds crew in shallow left field during the delay.
Manager Skip Schumaker in visible frustration over the way things have been handled tonight pic.twitter.com/TrqrvnNhMn
— Bally Sports Florida: Marlins (@BallyMarlins) September 29, 2023
"Without getting into the details, obviously this is an unfortunate incident," Marlins general manager Kim Ng told reporters. "Right now, we're being told that we'll have to play (the suspended game) on Monday."
The Mets (72-86) had been three outs away from securing a win and series victory over the Marlins as the rain set in.
With the Mets holding a 1-0 lead, Mets reliever Grant Hartwig gave up a leadoff single to Bryan De La Cruz. Buck Showalter turned to Anthony Kay to try and pin down the save, but he gave up a game-tying RBI double to Jazz Chisholm Jr. and the go-ahead RBI single
Then after two more Marlins hits, one against Kay and the other against Reed Garrett, the umpires led by crew chief Alfonso Marquez, called for the tarp to cover the field.
Showalter said there were about two or three potential restart times, but the rain filled in each time.
"Everybody's trying to do what they can do to satisfy," Showalter said. "We're trying to win a game and we have sympathy for what they're trying to accomplish too. I'm trying to do what's best for the New York Mets."
The bullpen blowup unraveled David Peterson's strongest start in his last action of the 2023 season. The left-hander tossed seven scoreless innings, struck out eight and surrendered four hits and four walks. He threw a season-high 113 pitches.
Jesus Luzardo countered for the Marlins by opening with seven scoreless innings and 10 strikeouts of his own. In the bottom of the eighth, the Marlins starter gave up a leadoff single to Brett Baty and a sacrifice bunt for the first out before being removed from the game.
The Marlins' Andrew Nardi surrendered the first run of the game on a Brandon Nimmo RBI single.
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Mets-Marlins suspended game creates nightmare situation for MLB