The song said, “This is the way the world ends; not with a bang, but with a whimper.”
Into Flushing, New York the Nats come to end a well-chronicled disappointment of a season. If all goes according to script the season will end Sunday at about 6:00 pm. We can then go on with the business of hot-stoving the winter. But, as they say in the sitcoms, “Not so fast, my friends.” Mother Nature may have another script in mind.
If you’ve been glued to the forecasts for Hurricane Joaquin all week you’ve seen “Spaghetti Model” tracks that at one point strongly resembled a Jackson Pollack painting. Most of the uncertainty is gone out of the forecast for Juaquin at this point. But the frontal system on the East Coast has set up shop. After all those days of dry, unimaginably beautiful weather, we now have to put up with her evil twin. Flushing, NY is not immune as one glance at the National Weather Service, NY page will tell you. The short-form version of the weather for the weekend series is: Ghastly, transitioning to Awful, then improving to Yuk.
For the Nats, this is the end of the road. But, the Mets are going to be the Division standard bearer when they play the Dodgers. The rub is that they have identical 89-70 records. While that may be good for fourth-place in the Central Division, these two will play the first round of the playoffs. Where, exactly, is yet to be determined. The Dodgers are home against the Padres for three games. The weather will not interfere with those games.
There are a lot of scenarios that could unfold. But, here are some factors to consider. First of all the odds of tonight’s game being played as scheduled are less than 10%. That leaves three games still hanging. The odds of getting in one game on Saturday are probably around 50%. It may take 8-hours to play the game with multiple breaks. But, there’s a decent chance to get it in. Two games on Saturday is most likely out of the equation. A game on Sunday being finished has a pretty good chance. Two games on Sunday is another story; do-able-maybe, but not likely. That would leave Monday open for a game in a cruel-and-unusual punishment scenario for the Nats.
That Monday game would not be needed if the Dodgers can sweep the Padres and the Nats take one of the first two from the Mets.
With home field advantage at stake and a few thousand miles between the home cities, these games matter to the Mets. For the Nats, this will be a painfully slow walk to the end of the line.