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Rain delay forces Mets to go to ‘pen early in loss

At this point, Mets manager Mickey Callaway said before Tuesday’s 6-1 loss to the Reds, how Jason Vargas fares in the waning months of a lost season matters little. The Mets simply want Vargas, whose disjointed campaign has included multiple injuries and near-constant mechanical issues, to log as many innings as possible. In that fashion, Vargas can prime himself to play a more central role next summer.

So it was a cruel coincidence that, not a quarter-of-an-hour after Vargas took the mound, lightning began flashing across the horizon at Citi Field. Thunder rolled in next, then a downpour, scattering fans to the concourses and resulting in a 1-hour, 40-minute rain delay. By the time play resumed, Vargas’ chances of returning to the mound had evaporated.

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