Jacob deGromand the New York Mets face the Miami Marlins on Tuesday. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
NEW YORK -- Maybe the third time will be the charm for Jacob deGrom. And maybe the third time will be the charm for the Miami Marlins, though facing deGrom probably isn't anybody's idea of a charmed existence in 2018.
DeGrom will once again hope the weather cooperates Tuesday night, when he is scheduled to take the mound for the New York Mets against the Marlins in the pushed-back opener of a four-game series at Citi Field.
Weather permitting, deGrom (8-8, 1.68 ERA) will resume making his case for the National League Cy Young Award when he opposes the Marlins' Jose Urena (5-12, 4.41 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.
The teams were supposed to open their series Monday, but the game was postponed four hours before first pitch due to a steady rain that wasn't expected to let up the rest of the night. The game will be made up as part of a single-gate doubleheader Wednesday at 4:10 p.m. ET.
For deGrom, Monday marked the second straight day in which he had a start shelved. He was scheduled to start against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday afternoon but was scratched due to a foreboding weather forecast. The Mets, who started rookie Corey Oswalt, ended up winning 6-4 in a game that went off without a hitch following a 27-minute rain delay prior to first pitch.
The Mets scratched deGrom because they were confident the forecast for Monday would be much better. Alas ...
"From what we see at this point -- which, I mean, it's the weather, it's hard to predict -- it's supposed to clear up in the evening," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Sunday afternoon. "So, we thought when we made that decision, we were thinking that we have a good chance to play (Monday) night."
And Monday marked the second straight postponement for the Marlins, who haven't played since suffering a 5-1 loss to the host Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night. The series finale Sunday afternoon was postponed due to rain.
The focus will be deGrom whenever the Mets (65-77) and Marlins (56-86) do finally play baseball. He enjoyed a record-breaking start in his most recent appearance Sept. 3, when he endured yet another hard-luck no-decision after allowing one run on two hits over six innings in the Mets' 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It was the 25th straight start in which deGrom allowed three runs or fewer, which tied the all-time record set by Leonard Cole of the Chicago Cubs in 1910, as well as his 20th straight quality start, which broke the Mets record set by Tom Seaver in 1973.
DeGrom is in a three-way race for the Cy Young with the Washington Nationals' Max Scherzer and the Philadelphia Phillies' Aaron Nola. While Scherzer (17 wins) and Nola (16 wins) ranked first and second in the NL in victories entering Monday, deGrom's ERA is more than half a run better than those of Nola (2.29) and Scherzer (2.33).
However, having his start pushed back to Tuesday almost certainly means deGrom will finish with fewer starts than both Scherzer and Nola, who are on pace for 34 and 33 starts, respectively. DeGrom is on pace for 32 starts.
Urena earned the win in his previous start Sept. 3, when he allowed one run over seven innings as the Marlins beat the Phillies, 3-1.
DeGrom is 4-5 with a 3.68 ERA in 15 career starts against the Marlins. Urena is 3-5 with a 3.81 ERA in 12 games (eight starts) against the Mets.