Mets hope for better weather in series opener vs. Braves

MLB

The New York Mets still have more players on the injured list than games postponed this season.

The gap is narrowing, though.

The Mets got another unplanned day off Friday afternoon, when their series opener against the visiting Atlanta Braves was postponed due to a forecast of heavy rain. With a bleak forecast for Saturday and Sunday as well, the game will not be made up this weekend.

The pitching matchup for Saturday is the same as it was Friday, when the Mets planned to activate Taijuan Walker (3-1, 2.05 ERA) off the injured list to make the start against fellow right-hander Ian Anderson (4-1, 2.82 ERA).

The Mets last played Thursday, when they swept a doubleheader from the visiting Colorado Rockies with 1-0 and 4-2 victories. The Braves haven’t played since Wednesday, when they lost to the host Boston Red Sox 9-5.

The postponement Friday was the second of the week and the 10th of the season for the Mets, whose season-opening three-game series against the Washington Nationals was postponed due to the latter’s coronavirus outbreak. Since then, New York’s had six games rained out, as well as one snowed out in Colorado.

Manager Luis Rojas took a glass-half-full approach to the latest postponement, which came right after the Mets played a pair of games in 80-degree temperatures and needed five relievers to cover the final 3 1/3 innings of the second win.

“Weather (was) a lot hotter than probably all the other days that we’ve had in the past, so we could use it — another day where the guys can get their rest, bullpen-wise,” Rojas said.

Walker’s return will reduce the Mets’ injured list to 16, a hefty number that includes six Opening Day position players.

The Braves’ injured list increased Friday, when Marcell Ozuna (two broken fingers on his left hand) was officially shelved. Ozuna, who won two-thirds of the National League Triple Crown last season, was injured Tuesday night when he tried sliding into third base at Fenway Park.

Braves manager Brian Snitker said Ehire Adrianza would get the first chance to play left in place of Ozuna. Adrianza, who has already played six positions this season, replaced Ozuna on Tuesday and made six starts in right field — three apiece in April and May — while Ronald Acuna Jr. recovered from minor abdominal and ankle injuries.

“He’s been a good piece for us here,” Snitker said of Adrianza. “So just going to let him have a few cracks at it.”

Walker tossed three scoreless, one-hit innings against the Braves May 17 before exiting with a sore right side. Anderson earned the win May 21, when he threw six scoreless innings in the Braves’ 20-1 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Walker is 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts against the Braves. Anderson lost his lone start against the Mets last Sept. 19, when he gave up three runs over 4 2/3 innings as Atlanta fell 7-2.

–Field Level Media

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