Noah Syndergaard was scheduled to start for the Mets tonight, until suddenly he wasn’t, due to strep throat. Innocent as the news of ordinary illness might seem, given that he’s been pitching with a bone spur in his elbow since June and the fact that this comes on the heels of other Mets’ pitcher injuries (to say nothing of the team’s rather tenuous relationship with transparency regarding pitcher health), the announcement was understandably not met so well.
With a one-game lead on the wild card in a tight playoff race, the Mets’ next week likely leads either to a must-win game 162, a play-in, or the wild card game itself—situations where having their best starting pitcher available will be really, really important. And with the other injuries the rotation has suffered this month, the back-up options for Syndergaard are no longer so attractive.
A little “where are they now?” with the Mets’ opening day rotation:
- Matt Harvey—out for the season with surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome
- Syndergaard—alive and pitching, albeit with the aforementioned bone spur and not at all this weekend
- Jacob deGrom—out for the season with elbow surgery
- Bartolo Colon—seemingly ageless with a 3.12 ERA
- Steven Matz—out with a shoulder impingement and no timetable for return
The void has been filled with decent competence so far by a trio of rookies—Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, and Gabriel Ynoa—but the situation is still far from ideal. That is, it’s about what you’d expect from a team that currently looks to a 43-year-old as its lone beacon of stability and endurance.