Last Wednesday’s rain-shortened game against the Cardinals got my wheels spinning once again. And actually, my number one question came a day later: Why in creation did the Mets and Cards NOT play Thursday night’s game? What did Thursday have to do with Wednesday? I live literally 20 minutes from Shea (without traffic) and it was dry and clear from about 8:30 pm on. They could have played that game!! Were the Cardinals so afraid that the Mets would again take a lead into the bottom of the fifth inning and then the Heavens would open up and hand them another rain-shortened loss? Did they have any influence on the decision to postpone that game?
It leads me to question whether or not MLB should instate a standard rule on wait time during bad weather. Obviously if the game didn’t commence yet, there is no issue. But even though five innings makes an official game, could it legitimately be argued that the umpires favored the Mets by not waiting longer? Should it be left up to the individual umpiring crew working that particular game? But what is an adequate amount of time to wait before calling a game – an hour? An hour and a half? According to the radar?
I listened to Ron Darling’s comments on WFAN the following morning, “Baseball was meant to be played over nine innings.” Yes Ron, we know. But it’s no one’s fault that games have to be delayed or postponed due to inclement weather. Believe me, these guys would rather be playing than sitting around a clubhouse wondering if and when they will be taking the field.
So let me break it down for you, in my opinion: The fifth inning marks the halfway point of the game – long enough to get a feel for the way the game is going. Of course, anything can happen over the last four innings. But both teams received a fair number of chances to do their thing up until that point. So I don’t want to hear, “Oh, Glavine doesn’t deserve a complete game because he only pitched five innings,” or, “The Cardinals didn’t get a chance to come back because they called the game.” Glavine pitched as completely as the weather allowed him to that night, and if the Cards were so worried about “coming back”, then they should have done something about it sooner, just like the Mets did, when the weather afforded them the opportunity.