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Mets, Phillies turn focus to doubleheader

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For Marcus Stroman and the New York Mets, the rain taketh and the rain giveth.

A second straight rainout Monday should result in Stroman taking the mound again much sooner than expected for the Mets, who are scheduled to host the Philadelphia Phillies in a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon.

With rain in the forecast all evening, Monday’s series opener was postponed more than two hours before first pitch. The doubleheader will consist of two seven-inning games.

Taijuan Walker (0-0, 3.00 ERA) is scheduled to start the opener for the Mets against Chase Anderson (0-1, 3.60 ERA), who was scheduled to start Monday’s game. Stroman (1-0, 1.50 ERA) slated to start the nightcap against Aaron Nola (0-0, 2.53 ERA), Tuesday’s originally scheduled starter.

The Monday rainout for the Mets was far less controversial than Sunday’s and might help mend some fences with Stroman, who started the game against the Miami Marlins but exited after nine pitches and one out as heavier-than-forecast rains descended upon Citi Field.

The game was officially suspended more than two hours later, by which time Stroman had already taken to Twitter to voice his displeasure with the game starting at all and his disappointment that he wouldn’t get to pitch again for five more days.

Before Monday’s game was postponed, Mets manager Luis Rojas said the plan remained for Stroman to start Friday’s series opener at the Colorado Rockies so that the right-hander could remain on his regular routine. But in between Rojas’ press conference and the decision to postpone the game, Stroman threw and said he was available to pitch earlier.

The Mets, who fell to the Marlins 3-0 in their most recent game Saturday, are at a point where they’d just like to play a full game regardless of who starts it. They’ve played just five games this season, two fewer than any other team. The postponement Monday was the fifth of the season for New York, which had its season-opening series against the Washington Nationals scrapped due to the Nationals’ coronavirus outbreak.

“The biggest thing is to simulate game speed,” Rojas said. “I think you can keep everyone ready, we can have a script of things so we keep everyone active in every area. But to simulate game speed when everyone else is playing, that’s our challenge.”

For the Phillies, the rainout provided some unexpected time off following a controversial win Sunday night, when Alec Bohm scored on a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to lift visiting Philadelphia to a 7-6 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Catcher Travis d’Arnaud appeared to block Bohm’s foot as he applied the tag, but home plate umpire Lance Barrett called Bohm safe and the ruling stood upon official review.

“It was by the skin of his big toe, I think, that we scored,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “It looked like his big toe kind of hit the corner of the plate when we saw a lot of angles.”

Walker didn’t factor into the decision last Thursday, when he allowed two runs over six innings in the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Marlins. Stroman earned the win April 6, when he allowed one run over six innings as the Mets beat the Phillies, 8-4.

Anderson took the defeat against Stroman and the Mets April 6 after giving up two runs over five innings. Nola didn’t factor into the decision against New York a day later, when he allowed one run over four innings in Philadelphia’s 8-2 victory.

Walker won his lone start against the Phillies last Sept. 20, when he allowed one run over six innings as the Toronto Blue Jays earned a 6-3 victory. Stroman is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA in six games (four starts) against Philadelphia.

Nola is 8-2 with a 3.26 ERA in 17 starts against the Mets. Anderson is 2-4 with a 4.47 ERA in nine starts against New York.

–Field Level Media

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