Mets game rained out

June 14, 2008 6:09:15 PM PDT
Saturday night's game between the Texas Rangers and New York Mets was rained out and will be made up as part of a doubleheader Sunday with the first game set to start at 1:10 p.m. The game was called after a delay of 2 hours, 10 minutes.

Heavy rain and lightning rolled through the area about two hours before game time, but by then the tarp had already been on the field for some time. The few hardy fans sitting beneath the overhangs at Shea Stadium cheered each clap of thunder in the distance, and at one point those down the right-field line tried to start a very wet wave.

About an hour into the delay, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler raced from the dugout and dived across the tarp over the infield, by then a giant Slip 'n Slide. Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Gerald Laird, Josh Rupe and Milton Bradley - bad knees and all - followed suit to a big ovation from those still in the stands.

Shea Stadium security ushered them off the field, drawing a chorus of boos, but they emerged moments later and slid across the tarp one more time.

Twice the grounds crew began taking the tarp off the field during a lull in the rain, but each time a deluge quickly followed. The second time, an announcement was made that fans should seek shelter in the concourse from the frequent lightning strikes.

Left field was reduced to a shallow pond and the warning tracks were under water.

The Mets will send right-hander John Maine out in the first game with Pedro Martinez expected to pitch the second. The Rangers are expected to send out Kason Gabbard and Kevin Millwood.

The Mets will begin a West Coast road trip immediately following Sunday's doubleheader. They open a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

The Mets played a Sunday night game prior to their last West Coast trip. New York had won five of six at home before heading to San Francisco, but looked fatigued from an overnight flight that landed about 5 a.m. local time. The Giants routed New York 10-2, and the Mets wound up losing five of seven against San Francisco and San Diego.

That ramped up the pressure once again on beleaguered manager Willie Randolph, whose slumping club was expected to contend for the NL East but instead wallows two games below .500 and seven games back in the division.

Randolph was given a tepid vote of confidence from general manager Omar Minaya before a 7-1 win over the Rangers on Friday night, but Minaya was noncommittal when asked whether Randolph would be the manager the rest of the season.