The New York Mets just can’t seem to get out of their own way when it comes to achieving any type of success this year. Needing a win over the Miami Marlins on Sunday to get back to .500 on the season, the injury-infected Amazins shot themselves in the foot once again. With Matt Harvey, the scheduled starter, suspended by the team for various infractions last night, the start went to emergency call-up Adam Wilk, a 29 year-old journeyman who hadn’t started a game in the major leagues in five seasons.
Wilk got hammered for three home runs over the first three and two-thirds innings, two by Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton and one by SS Adeiny Hechavarria. All three were struck solidly and left the park in a hurry. Wilk’s debut was a short, unimpressive one to say the least. To be fair, he flew all night to get to New York and was rushed onto the mound.
The Mets were shut out for the first time this year and today’s finale against the Marlins ended their unusual stretch of 30 games against their NL East rivals to start the season.
But it was Harvey’s absence that put a pall over the team, and the fans, who were largely unaware upon arrival that their Dark Knight had been scratched from game. The six-run deficit would be too much for these Mets to overcome, even the way they’ve been hitting lately. They entered the game having scored at least seven runs in each of their last five games, the second-longest streak in franchise history (September 18-23, 2007).
There would be no comeback. Not on this day. As the sun tried desperately to break through the cover of clouds that brought a sprinkle or two throughout the afternoon, the talk remained about how Harvey had let the team down again. It didn’t matter that the Mets could not solve Miami starter Jose Arena, who did not surrender a base hit until the sixth inning, which turned out to be the only one the Mets could muster all game. The final score was 7-0.
It was the first time they have been held to one hit since last June 19 when they were throttled by Altanta’s Julio Teheran.
Harvey was the story of the day, however. Suspended on the heels of the news that Noah Syndergaard (torn lat muscle) would probably not pitch until after the All-Star break at the soonest, Harvey was being relied upon by the Mets to turn his sour season around and lift the the Mets back into the NL East fray. Instead, his future with the club has become the cloudiest it’s been in his six years here.
Rumors behind the reasons for Harvey’s suspension reverberated through the stadium and on social media as the day unfolded but no concrete details could be confirmed. He apparently had been racking up the ill will for several months and manager Terry Collins had finally had enough.
According to veteran reporter Joel Sherman, Harvey is expected to file a grievance with the players’ union over his suspension.
Collins said he has not determined when Harvey will pitch next. The Mets will face the San Francisco Giants at CitiField the next three days with Jacob deGrom going Monday and Zack Wheeler on Tuesday. Collins said that Wednesday was still wide open even though the club has announced Rafael Montero as the starter.
Syndergaard was shifted to the 60-day disabled list as part of the move to accommodate the Harvey suspension and the Wilk promotion. The Mets claimed LHP Tommy Milone off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers. Milone, a 30 year-old left-hander, was unimpressive in his six appearances with the Brewers this season, posting a 6.43 ERA over 21 innings pitched. He is allegedly a candidate to take over the fifth starter role from the struggling Rafael Montero.
SS Astrubal Cabrera, who left Saturday night’s game with a thumb injury, could very likely avoid the disabled list. Jose Reyes started at short on Sunday. After the game, Collins delivered the good news about Cabrera.
“The good news is he doesn’t have any tear,” said Collins. “Pretty jammed up thumb. It’s still pretty sore…Don’t know what we’re going to do but at least there’s no tear and no surgery is going to be needed, which is very, very good news.”