Cardinals will be better rested for doubleheader against Mets

Aiden Keshner, 13, of St. Louis was able to check Citi Field off his bucket list of stadiums to visit Monday, although he'll have to come back Tuesday for a doubleheader if he wants to see his Cardinals play there.

Kathy Willens/AP

NEW YORK — The St. Louis Cardinals had an adventurous time getting to New York. Now they must wait to start their 10-game road trip.

Rain forced the postponement of the series opener between the New York Mets and the Cardinals on Monday night. The teams will start the three-game set with a single-admission doubleheader Tuesday.

Game 1

Noah Syndergaard and Bartolo Colon go for the Mets, while Carlos Martinez and Jaime Garcia will start for St. Louis.

The Cardinals will be more rested by Tuesday. They played a three-hour, 49-minute home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night. Their plane was late in getting to St. Louis to pick them up, then had mechanical issues. The Cardinals did not reach their Manhattan hotel until about 8:30 a.m. ET on Monday.

Game 2

A little over 11 hours later, after the Monday night game was called off, they were headed back on the bus toward Manhattan, waiting to start a stretch of 20 out of 26 games on the road.

Most of Monday was sunny with temperatures in the high 90s, but there was a threat of rain. The threat became a reality at about 4 p.m. ET, shortly after the Mets began warming up and shortly before most of the Cardinals arrived on the second bus.

"There were a lot of things that didn’t go as scheduled," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said in the dugout at about 5 p.m. ET. "I want to tell you the most impressive thing was we’re stuck in our clubhouse (late Sunday night before heading to the airport), guys were just doing their thing. I didn’t hear any bickering, any complaining, and then as things continued to get delayed and as we land, things didn’t necessarily go as planned, but I didn’t hear the guys barking and complaining, which could have been easy to do. So it was impressive."

Two hours after Matheny spoke, the game was officially rained out.

"It seems like every year you have this sort of thing," Matheny said. "I think it’s real important to just not belabor it because just everybody goes through it at some point in the year whether it’s the spring, you get all the rain, you get the snow. It happens, and to us, it’s one of those great challenges."

The rainout came one year after one of the most eventful weeks in Mets history. It was a week that saw prospect Michael Conforto get called up and general manager Sandy Alderson make three trades, including the blockbuster addition of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, which came after a deal for Carlos Gomez fell through while Wilmer Flores cried on the field after the fans found out about the proposed trade.

"I learned a lot last year, I really did. I never went through that (until) last year," Mets manager Terry Collins said before the game was postponed. "I never had a deadline deal that made a difference. I saw the impact it made."

This year, whoever is involved in the rumors will find Collins talking to him about how to handle everything.

"This week I’m going to hear names and obviously with the reaction you saw last year with Wilmer, I always think maybe because I’ve been in the game too many years that if you’re a good player, your name is going to be in deals," Collins said. "That’s the business side of the game. You don’t have to like it, you have to accept it."

Alderson said the Mets are in the market again this week, and they plan to target bullpen help. He also said that not trading for a starting pitcher is based upon right-hander Zach Wheeler coming back at some point.

As for the Tuesday starting pitchers, Syndergaard (9-4, 2.43 ERA) will oppose Martinez (9-6, 2.83 ERA) in the first game. They were scheduled to pitch the Monday game.

Colon (8-5, 3.48 ERA) and Garcia (7-6, 3.98 ERA) will square off in the nightcap. Both will be going on five days’ rest.

New York second baseman Neil Walker would not have been in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game Monday if not for the rainout, but he likely will be back in action Tuesday. Terry Collins said it was for Walker to "recharge" due to a 2-for-27 showing on the Mets’ just-concluded, 5-4 road trip.