NEW YORK — All that rain gave Yoenis Cespedes and the ailing New York Mets more time to heal up.
Probably couldn’t hurt.
The series opener between the Mets and Atlanta Braves was postponed Tuesday night because of a steady downpour, forcing both slumping teams to wait another day for a chance to stop their losing streaks. The game was rescheduled as part of a single-admission doubleheader on Sept. 25 at 4:10 p.m.
Cespedes exited last Thursday’s loss to Philadelphia with a cramp in his left hamstring, and the Mets haven’t won since. The slugger planned to return Tuesday and was penciled into the lineup — but Terry Collins wasn’t going to take any chances on a slick field.
"If we play in this condition, you’ll be in left field before Cespedes," the manager told a reporter at his afternoon news conference, drawing a round of laughs.
Travis d’Arnaud also was ready to start again for a struggling Mets team that’s averaged 2.9 runs over the past nine games. The catcher bruised his right wrist last Wednesday and has been limited to pinch-hitting duty since.
Because of the wet weather, d’Arnaud tested his wrist by throwing in the indoor batting cage.
"To get both those guys back is going to be big. All of a sudden, you’re looking at another one or two guys closer to having your regular lineup out there," Collins said.
First baseman Lucas Duda (hyperextended left elbow) and infielder Wilmer Flores (right knee infection) remain on the 10-day disabled list.
Atlanta, which has lost six consecutive games, pushed back scheduled starter Julio Teheran to Wednesday night and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to Thursday afternoon. That means Bartolo Colon is no longer slated to face his former Mets teammates this time through town.
"We shot ourselves in the foot a few times the first couple of weeks, but we haven’t played bad baseball," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
"The preparation’s good, the enthusiasm’s good. You can see, I mean, everybody’s playing the game the way they’re supposed to. We’re gettin’ after it and I think we just handle this and we’re going to be all right," he added. "I don’t feel like we need to blow anything up. I think it’s more of, we’ve just got to stay the course and grind it out every night."
New York, which has dropped four straight and eight of nine, will skip No. 5 starter Robert Gsellman, who was slated to pitch Tuesday. Instead, the rookie right-hander will be available out of the bullpen for the next few days, Collins said.
Noah Syndergaard will get the ball Wednesday as scheduled, with Matt Harvey going Thursday.
Rain fell in Queens most of the afternoon and a nasty forecast called for showers deep into the night. The game was postponed about 90 minutes before the scheduled first pitch at chilly Citi Field, where flags atop the ballpark were whipping in a stiff wind.
Atlanta selected the contract of outfielder Lane Adams from Triple-A Gwinnett, where he was batting .333 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 13 games. Infielder-outfielder Chase d’Arnaud, brother of the Mets’ catcher, was designated for assignment.
BACK TO BASICS
All-Star reliever Jeurys Familia is the Mets’ closer again, Collins said. Familia sat out the first 15 games of the season while serving a domestic violence suspension and the team initially eased him back in with a setup role — although New York hasn’t had a ninth-inning save situation in the four games since Familia returned. The right-hander has struck out six and walked four in three hitless appearances covering 2 2/3 innings.
The rain wiped out an originally scheduled matchup Wednesday night between Dickey and Syndergaard, traded for each other in a seven-player swap between the Mets and Toronto Blue Jays in December 2012. The deal also included Travis d’Arnaud and came about a month after Dickey won the NL Cy Young Award with New York.
Braves: Teheran (1-1, 3.52 ERA) threw six shutout innings at Citi Field on opening day and is 3-0 with a 0.63 ERA in his past six starts against the Mets. The right-hander has yielded only one earned run over his last 22 innings in Queens.
Mets: Syndergaard (1-1, 1.73) seeks his first win in five career starts against the Braves.