Remember the Mets? You know, the team that made a surprise run to the 2015 World Series thanks to Yoenis Cespedes’s strong hitting, then made the play-in game last year, all the while flashing one of the deepest and most dominant young rotations baseball had seen in years? Things aren’t going well for them.
The Mets lost to the Braves at home this afternoon, 7-5, good for their sixth straight loss in six home games. New York is now 8-13, last in the NL East behind the resurgent Phillies and even the Braves. Today’s loss might have been the worst of the bunch.
Noah Syndergaard was scheduled to start, but the Mets scratched him and brought in Matt Harvey at the last minute. Manager Terry Collins said Syndergaard had a “tired arm” and some tendon soreness in his right bicep, but the pitcher admitted this morning that he had some discomfort in his throwing shoulder. After the game, Syndergaard reportedly told Mets PR man Jay Horwitz to hold off reporters, then let him have it after they approached anyway and asked him questions about his shoulder (which he ignored).
Syndergaard’s replacement, Matt Harvey, did not fare much better. Harvey gave up six runs in 4.1 innings, which could be because he worked out hard yesterday and reportedly did not know he was going to start until this morning right before the game started. It’s baffling that the Mets knew Syndergaard would need to chill today and did not let Harvey know in a timely manner.
Somehow, matters got worse. In the fourth inning, the Mets were down 2-0 when Yoenis Cespedes knocked a double to right field. As he rounded first base, he pulled up limping and immediately slumped over as he reached second.
The Mets later announced that their slugger had suffered a strained left hamstring. Cespedes has already missed time with hamstring issues this year, and at this point, a stint on the disabled list seems likely. Cespedes has been one of the best Mets hitters this year, and losing him while the already-hobbled pitching staff takes more lumps is brutal. Jay Bruce said earlier this week that the Mets were too good to say “Oh shit” and panic, but that assumed that a healthy Cespedes would help them right the ship. A big series with the Nationals looms, and the Mets are as ill-equipped as they could be.