As a steady rain turned into more of a downpour before the top of the ninth inning on Thursday night at Citi Field, the grounds crew rolled the tarp out and prepared to put it on the field. The Mets -- including Pete Alonso and Mickey Callaway -- lobbied the umpires to not have the tarp put on. That lobbying turned out to be a terrible idea.
Instead of putting the tarp on, it sat behind the infield dirt as the grounds crew put diamond dry on the field and Edwin Diaz stood around for 10 minutes after warming up.
Prior to blowing the save as the rain continued to pelt the field, Diaz warmed up in the bullpen, then on the mound, then waited through the delay. He then warmed up on the mound again (in the rain) before facing his first batter (in the rain).
Two things can be true:
1. Diaz should've found a a way to get the final out and seal the win
2. The game should've been delayed before the top of the ninth inning started, with the tarp put on the field.
After the game, the umpires explained why they let the game continue.
Crew Chief Jeff Kellogg said that the initial plan was to put the tarp on the field since the rain was "coming down at a pretty good clip." But after the rain "started to lighten up," the umpiring crew decided to use diamond dry and let the teams play through it.
"But then very quickly, it deteriorated and then once we got to the bottom of the ninth, and we had them come back out and attempt to see if we can get it, and we realized that we're not going to be able to get this field playable, so let's just stop it now. As it turns out, now it's suspended," Kellogg added.
Kellogg noted the decision to suspend the game was because "the field was getting lost" due to the rain.
The key word above is "deteriorated." And as things were deteriorating, the tarp was not put on the field. Instead, the game was allowed to continue as Diaz blew the save.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway said after the game that he thought the "umpires did everything they could, the right way." Still, it's hard to come up with an argument in favor of not putting the tarp on the field once things "deteriorated."
This could still end well if the Mets pull out the suspended game, but it never should've gotten to this point.