DENVER -- Two and a half weeks after leaving behind the sunshine and gentle breezes of Florida, the Mets are still searching for any signs of spring. Wednesday's game against the Rockies was the latest to be postponed due to snow, marking the third time in four days wintry conditions have prevented the Mets from playing.
No makeup date has been announced, but the Mets will return to Denver later this season rather than play a doubleheader Thursday.
The announcement was nothing new for a team growing outwardly frustrated with the weather. The Mets did not play Sunday's game in Minneapolis due to wintry conditions at Target Field. They endured a second straight postponement Monday in Denver, then endured a two-hour delay the following day while Rockies employees shoveled away eight inches of snow -- eventually clearing the field for the Mets to lose both halves of a doubleheader.
More precipitation began falling on Denver late Wednesday morning, resulting in yet another postponement. By late afternoon, a thin film of snow had covered the Coors Field turf.
"It disrupts their patterns that they're used to," manager Terry Collins said of his players. "So this has been a tough trip for us -- it really has been. Guys are tired of sitting at the hotel."
Still, Collins said, the Mets benefited by the decision not to play another doubleheader in Denver. That will allow them to keep their starting pitching somewhat in line, with Jon Niese starting Thursday's series finale at Coors Field, Matt Harvey pitching Friday against the Nationals and Jeremy Hefner replacing fifth starter Aaron Laffey on Saturday.
The Mets can now skip Laffey's next turn in the rotation, bringing Niese back Tuesday, Harvey on Wednesday, and so on and so forth. By the time Laffey is due to pitch again, the Mets may be able to activate injured right-hander Shaun Marcum from the disabled list.
"It helps us," Collins said. "It's not going to help us a lot, but it helps us for us to leave after [Thursday's] game and get back to New York. We don't have to get back at 5 a.m."
In Denver, the idle Mets are finding various ways to amuse themselves. Several players, including Harvey, attended a Colorado Avalanche hockey game on Monday evening; others talked about watching the NBA's Nuggets on Wednesday. Some Mets considered movies or restaurants.
They may benefit from growing familiar with the city, knowing they will need to come back here later this season. The Mets are already scheduled to fly to Minneapolis on Aug. 19 to make up last Sunday's game against the Twins, and now must agree on a date to make up Wednesday's game with the Rockies.
In the meantime, they hope to re-establish some sort of regular routine beginning Thursday, with sunshine expected to grace downtown Denver for the first time in days.
"It's been odd," Collins said. "This is a game of consistency. This is a game of repetition. And when you lose those reps, it can change the outcomes."