Mets-Rockies postponed because of snow, cold

DENVER -- The New York Mets and Colorado Rockies will try to salvage the final game of their weather-ravaged series Thursday.

Snow and cold forced the postponement of Wednesday night's game. The teams didn't play Monday due to snow and played a split doubleheader Tuesday, which the Rockies swept.

Rather than complete the series with another doubleheader Thursday when the forecast is more favorable, the teams will try to play just one game.

Jon Garland, who was scheduled to pitch Wednesday for the Rockies, will start Thursday with one additional day of rest. The Mets will start left-hander Jonathon Niese on Thursday, which was his scheduled day to pitch. Jeremy Hefner, who had been scheduled to start Wednesday, instead will start Sunday at Citi Field against Washington.

Since the Mets were scheduled to make one trip to Denver this season, they will have to return to play one game. The Mets are on something of a Tundra Tour, having started this scheduled seven-game trip in Minnesota where they will have to return for a one-game pit stop on Aug. 19 to make up a game that was postponed Sunday by snow and cold.

No make-up date was announced for the Mets and Rockies to play, but June 27 and Sept. 5 are being considered. The Rockies play in Boston on June 26 and open a homestand June 28. The Mets play the White Sox in Chicago on June 26 and open a homestand June 28.

On Sept. 4, the Rockies finish a homestand and play at San Diego on Sept. 6. The Mets play at Atlanta on Sept. 4 and at Cleveland on Sept. 6.

Mets outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis lived in Denver for six years and went to Denver Christian High School. After the Mets were snowed out for the second time in three days here, Nieuwenhuis said the reaction of some of his teammates was disbelief at both the weather and Nieuwenhuis' plans.

"They think I'm crazy for moving back here," said Nieuwenhuis, who is getting married after this season and coming back to live in Denver next year.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss and his players never came to Coors Field on Wednesday. Many of the Mets were at Coors Field with players taking swings in the indoor batting cage in the visitor's clubhouse and trying to follow the daily routine that is embedded in the game.

"This is a game of consistency," Collins said. "This is a game of repetition. When you lose those reps, it can change the outcome a lot of how things go."

Collins noted how catcher John Buck is hot -- he's hitting .326 (15-for-46) with six homers and 19 RBI -- but now must try to stay in synch. For his part, Buck said there might be some advantage to dealing with a schedule filled with fits and starts at this point in the season.

"Maybe it's good that it's so close to spring training because in spring training this is how it was every day," said Buck, who didn't play Grapefruit League games daily. "It's not far from that routine so maybe it's good. It doesn't bother me."

Nonetheless, Buck and his teammates are eager to put this meteorological saga behind them and not have to worry about the weather.

"Playing every day, getting in the grind, being able to come in, knowing you're playing every day, that helps you, one, forget about the last game quicker," Buck said, "and, two, keep in the groove a lot easier. That's the way the game was intended, so yeah that makes it feel a lot more natural. And to get out of the cold, that'll be more baseball-weather friendly."

Mets reliever LaTroy Hawkins, 40, came up with Minnesota, and while the Twins played indoors in the Metrodome, Hawkins endured his share of frigid Midwest nights in April playing American League Central rivals such as Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago.

"I can remember cold and some snow, not six inches," Hawkins said. "It's Mother Nature, what can we do about it? She determines whether we play or not. Sit back and just hope for sunny skies. It's coming -- just a day late; maybe tomorrow."