Snow in Denver forces Mets' second consecutive postponement

Jeremy Hefner throws in the snow before a Jeremy Hefner throws in the snow before a scheduled game against the Colorado Rockies in Denver. The game was postponed. (April 15, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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DENVER -- The closest thing to certainty about the Mets' schedule involves Friday night's marquee matchup at Citi Field, in which Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg is in line to face flourishing counterpart Matt Harvey.

"I don't think I'm going to mess too much with Matt Harvey,'' Terry Collins said yesterday from snow-covered Coors Field.

As for the rest of the Mets' upcoming games, assuming they're played, who will wind up pitching remains anybody's guess.

The Mets again found themselves scrambling Monday when heavy snow forced the postponement of Monday night's game against the Rockies. For the first time since August 2011, when Hurricane Irene bore down on New York, the Mets had consecutive games postponed.

"It's hard, especially for us,'' Collin Cowgill said. "We've been swinging the bats well.''

The Rockies scheduled a split doubleheader for Tuesday, beginning at 3:10 p.m. EDT, although Collins said forecasts are calling for a stronger front to bring more snow later in the day.

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Dillon Gee is scheduled to face the Rockies' Juan Nicasio in the matinee. The Rockies will throw Jeff Francis in the second game, but Collins refused to commit to a starter. Aaron Laffey and Jeremy Hefner are the choices.

With extreme cold putting Wednesday night's game in danger as well, Collins said he must avoid taxing too many arms in case weather forces more changes in the schedule.

"We're trying to make sure we've got options available,'' he said. "We burn a bunch of guys tomorrow, then Wednesday we don't play and come back with a doubleheader Thursday, we don't want to be short certain guys.''

Collins also must have a long reliever ready to take over if play resumes after a long delay.

Harvey (3-0, 0.82 ERA), who was named the NL Player of the Week Monday, appears set to pitch when the Mets return home Friday. But weather will determine who comes next.

The Mets tried to make the best of the situation. Their position players used the indoor batting cages at Coors Field. Jon Niese, who is slated to start Thursday, threw his bullpen session on an indoor mound. But the pitchers who needed to long- toss to stay sharp donned skull caps and heavy layers. With snow piling up, several braved the cold to throw on the field, using their feet to clear enough room to stand.

"You've got a chance to run into some bad weather this time of year. We have,'' Collins said after near-freezing temperatures and snow forced the postponement of Sunday's game in Minnesota. "So we just adjust.''

Notes & quotes: The Rockies and Mets will take part in Jackie Robinson Day ceremonies in Tuesday's first game. All players will wear No. 42. The teams will wear throwback uniforms in the second game to celebrate the Rockies' 20th anniversary. They played their first-ever game against the Mets in 1993 . . . Injured Shaun Marcum is to throw three or four innings in a simulated game Thursday . . . A fire broke out Monday morning in the administrative building at Citi Field. The team is investigating the cause of the blaze, which sprinklers contained before the FDNY extinguished it.

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