Chalk this one up to you can’t win them all.
Because if Noah Syndergaard just had an off night, then fine, time to move on and hope for the best tomorrow.
But if Thor has something else wrong with him that caused him to give up five runs on eight hits in just 3.2 innings tonight, then the Mets best chance of doing something in October may have gone out the window.
The ever optimistic Terry Collins wants to take the former route.
“He lost his feel. He lost his rhythm,” Collins said. “Eleven pitches and he had four outs. Then he was all over the plate. It was completely out of character. We were hoping to get him back in sync.”
Look, you can’t blame any Met fan for being shell shocked these days. After a season like this, they just do that to you. It’s almost like they found the Golden Ticket last year and now they are paying the price in some strange version of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
But instead of Oompa-Loompas, singing gleeful songs when someone goes down, Collins and general manager Sandy Alderson are sitting in front of the room looking for explanations.
Right now, though, Syndergaard is fine and still on schedule to pitch the Wild Card game, if the Mets make it that far.
Again, though, we heard this story before, with Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom. They all had little ailments that were nothing and eventually became something.
Syndergaard is also notorious for being very guarded when it comes to his right arm. Even though the whole world knew about his bone chips in his elbow, he denied it to the press initially and then came out with it, after Alderson disclosed it to the public.
So if something is wrong right now, Syndergaard is not saying.
“Lost control of the fastball,” he said. “In five days I will go again. Every win is critical. I’m disappointed.”
If this is nothing, then fine, but is it’s something you have to worry about the Mets ability to compete in the postseason.
Without Harvey and deGrom and with a diminished Matz, who will be on a leash, the Mets need their flame throwing righthander to be in top form.
A rotation of Syndergaard, Bartolo Colon, Seth Lugo and Matz with Robert Gsellman backing them up may not be perfect, but still will give the Mets the ability to compete, especially with Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia in the eighth and ninth.
Take Thor out and you then lose that feared front end, and you will be left without your hammer that keeps teams off-guard. Remember, it was Syndergaard who was the Mets best pitcher in the postseason, winning Game 2 of the NLCS, Game 3 of the World Series and came out of the bullpen against the Dodgers in Game 5 to help shut the door in the seventh inning.
Without Harvey and deGrom, the rotational fear is gone. Without Syndergaard they may be shot.
But right now, this is just one start and he will be going against the Phillies on Saturday. With two starts left in the season, you hope he can just shake this off.
“ I’m going to try to prove I am the best pitcher I can be,” he said, and the Mets better hope he can be.
Because without Syndergaard doing his best Thor in the playoffs, this may be a very short October in Flushing.