Nationals-Mets game rained out, doubleheader Tuesday

NEW YORK (AP) — Rain in New York and a Braves loss in Miami kept the Mets in the NL East race for at least another day.

The scheduled game between the Mets and Washington Nationals was postponed Monday night by daylong showers and will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader Tuesday at Citi Field.

The first game is set to begin at 4:10 p.m., though the forecast Tuesday is similarly soggy.

New York (98-61) is 1 1/2 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East after the Braves lost 4-0 at Miami. The playoff-bound Mets led the division for 175 days this season, but their chances of winning it diminished greatly last weekend when they were swept in three games at Atlanta.

The only way the Mets take the NL East and bypass a best-of-three wild-card series this weekend is by sweeping three games from the last-place Nationals while Atlanta loses all three to the fourth-place Marlins.

“We’re hoping they lose three and we win three,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said about three hours before the game was postponed. “I ain’t giving in. Never know.”

Showalter said he had a “lot of confidence in Don Mattingly,” his former captain with the New York Yankees.

Mattingly is embarking upon his final series as Marlins manager.

Neither team had announced pitching plans for the doubleheader. Carlos Carrasco was slated to start Monday for the Mets against Cory Abbott.

The listed starters Tuesday were Taijuan Walker for New York and Paolo Espino for Washington.

The extra day off wasn’t likely to get Starling Marte back in the lineup any sooner for the scuffling Mets. Marte hasn’t played since Sept. 6 due to a broken right middle finger sustained when he was hit by a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Mets are 13-10 and have scored an NL-high 123 runs since Marte was injured. But they managed four or fewer in 10 of those 23 games, a span in which New York has compiled 67 extra-base hits and registered a slugging percentage of .428.

Against the Braves, the Mets had just four extra-base hits — three homers and a double — in 110 plate appearances. Atlanta had 11 extra-base hits — including seven homers — in 98 plate appearances.

Marte took soft-toss swings Monday but Showalter said the All-Star right fielder hadn’t made much progress.

“We’re looking more about right now of ways to manage it and the discomfort, trying to see if there’s some way,” Showalter said. “The earliest we would play (a playoff game) obviously would be Friday, so see what the next three days bring.”

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