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Rain Forces Another Doubleheader; Mets Unhappy

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(David Goldman/AP Photo)

(David Goldman/AP Photo)

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By CHARLES ODUM,  AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP) _ The New York Mets will have to play their second
doubleheader in three days, and they’re not happy about it.

Mets officials called the commissioner’s office on Friday night
when plans were being discussed to reschedule Friday night’s game
against the Atlanta Braves, which was postponed by rain.

The Mets, concerned about the implications to their pitching
staff, lobbied unsuccessfully against a doubleheader on Saturday.
New York was swept by Colorado in a doubleheader Thursday in New
York after being rained out Tuesday.

New York is scheduled to return to Atlanta on June 14-16 and
again Sept. 16-18. The Mets preferred to reschedule Friday night’s
game for one of those series.

“It is what it is,” Mets assistant general manager John Ricco
said. “I’m not going to get into anything with the Braves.”

The teams will play a traditional doubleheader Saturday, with
the first game beginning at 4:10 p.m. The second game will start
approximately 30 minutes after the end of the first game.

The announcement of the postponement, following a delay of 55
minutes, came shortly after fans were advised the National Weather
Service had issued a severe storm warning for Atlanta and a tornado
warning for North Georgia.

Friday night’s scheduled starters– Atlanta’s Derek Lowe and New
York’s D.J. Carrasco –will start Saturday’s first game.
Atlanta’s Jair Jurrjens will make his season debut in the second
game against New York’s Mike Pelfrey.

The storm is expected to pass through Atlanta Saturday morning,
leaving clear skies for the doubleheader.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez approved of the plan to make up
the game as soon as possible instead of later in the season when
the Mets return to Atlanta.

“Let’s play it,” Gonzalez said. “You don’t know what the
weather is going to be like in June or September.”
The Mets moved Carrasco out of their bullpen when right-hander
Chris Young’s start was pushed back to Sunday due to tendinitis in
his surgically repaired arm.
Young said Friday night he felt better after throwing in the
bullpen on Thursday. He said he will go through his routine on
Saturday with the intent of pitching Sunday.

Ricco said if the Mets have any concerns about Young’s ability
to pitch deep into Sunday’s game after their bullpen may be taxed
in Saturday’s two games, the team may have to make a roster move to
call up another pitcher.

Ricco and Collins discussed the options in a telephone
conversation with general manager Sandy Alderson after Friday
night’s game was postponed.

“Everything is on the table,” Ricco said.
Each team will wear No. 42 jerseys in the first game, as planned
for Friday night, as part of baseball’s annual tribute to Jackie
Robinson.

The Braves announced that fans holding tickets for Friday
night’s game can exchange for any other game this season, subject
to availability, including Saturday’s doubleheader.

Jurrjens was one of the Braves’ top starters in his first two
seasons. He was 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA in 2008 and 14-10 with a 2.60
ERA in 2009. He was slowed by hamstring and knee injuries last
season, when he was 7-6 with a 4.64 ERA.

The right-hander sustained the oblique injury in Atlanta’s
spring game against Toronto on March 24.
He wasn’t convinced he needed to be placed on the disabled list,
but the Braves made the move on April 3, retroactive to March 25.

“Actually, it’s behind me,” Jurrjens said Friday. “Right now
I’m just happy I’m back. Nobody’s going to be happy going on the DL
if you think you can pitch, you know? I understand the point of
view; I respect that. It’s behind me.”

Jurrjens said the injury “wasn’t severe at all.”

Jurrjens pitched six innings for Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday,
allowing two runs on four hits against Norfolk.

NOTES: OF Jason Bay (strained left rib cage) was 0 for 2 with a
walk in three innings in an extended spring training game Friday.
… C Ronny Paulino caught four innings and was 0 for 2 for Class A
St. Lucie in his first rehab game. He is on the 15-day DL with
anemia.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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