ENGLISHTOWN, NJ – Funny stuff last week as I lost mostly all of what little credibility I have remaining here at MTM. Last Sunday’s post involved me harping on how the New York Mets are a light-hitting, pitching-strong team only to watch them lash out a franchise record twenty-two hits good for fourteen runs in their win over the Chicago Cubs. It’s a good thing summer is in full swing because nobody ripped me in the comments section due to little interest on Sundays.
The hitting has been pretty sound this past week as well but there is, as I pointed out last time, some concern for the overall team health. Friday night saw the Mets’ best hitter, Yoenis Cespedes, and best pitcher, Noah Syndergaard, leave the game with a strained right quad and arm fatigue, respectively. The power-hitting outfielder sustained the “injury” chasing around Daniel Murphy’s double almost similar to the way Rocky Balboa chased a chicken in preparation for Balboa-Creed II.
“Thor” was pulled mid at-bat during a 2-2 count on the Nats’ Jayson Werth, due to what is being called arm fatigue. Like Short Matt said yesterday, I’m not buying either one of these ailments, since both were slated for All-Star Game activity. This is a way for National League – and Mets – manager Terry Collins to have his players cop out of the festivities – and I don’t blame him one bit. Elbow stiffness and a tired arm happen over the course of a season and Syndergaard throws hard, so why have him push the issue in a game that means nothing but World Series home-field advantage?
Cespedes was to participate in the Home Run Derby where pitch after batting practice pitch is launched to the sky by the hitter’s body-twisting torque. No need to subject your own slugger to an oblique or back ailment as a result of these All-Star game exploits that only yields a stinking trophy.
The loss of Matt Harvey to season-ending thoracic outlet surgery (huh?) is no big deal since he was one of the National League’s least effective hurlers. I think what hurts more (no pun intended) is his trade value taking a dive with these health and arm concerns.
Zack Wheeler’s return won’t occur until August after his setback from Tommy John surgery and is the bigger problem. If he had remained on schedule he would have slotted well into the rotation in Harvey’s stead but now the Mets will look elsewhere for a spot starter for the three to four weeks following the All-Star break. First and foremost, the addition of these pitching woes will put a huge amount of pressure on the team’s bats and notwithstanding, equal angst on management to find solutions. While panic can easily set in, it’s all up to Collins to pull the right strings and GM Sandy Alderson to scrape together the chicken wire and duct tape in hopes of keeping the train on track.
Please comment below and come back tomorrow for DJ Eberle, a man who’d choke Rocky’s chicken. And please follow us on Twitter – @CheesyBruin & @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.