This was the last thing the Mets expected and that was a loss of Jacob deGrom Wednesday night at Citi Field. Forget about the Mets losing their second straight to the Atlanta Braves and in the process falling out of first place at the beginning of May. And, yes, the young and hungry Braves who seem to have the Mets number this season are atop the standings.
This is about the Mets second reliable starter next to Noah Syndergaard. It is about deGrom and a hyperextended right elbow that could put him on the sidelines for an extended period of time and this was the lone pitcher that stayed injury free last season.
However this is not last season and the April start had the Mets in first place. Jacob deGrom was moving along with a 3-0 record and until being removed after 4.0 shutout innings had not allowed a run in 18.1 innings.
So, as the Mets said Wednesday night, “We gotta keep fighting.” The mood was not good, as expected but this is a Mets team that is dealing with adversity for the first time this season. And if Jacob deGrom is lost for an extended period of time, indeed as manager Mickey Callaway said, “Somebody has to step up.”
That could be the return of Matt Harvey to the rotation, Or the Mets will call up right-hander Corey Oswalt or find another option with either Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman out of the bullpen. Either way, the Mets say they will keep fighting and in early May this loss of Jacob deGrom is something they can overcome.
“Understand we have a job to do and have high expectations from everyone in this clubhouse,” said Jay Bruce. And those expectations now will come come from Syndergaard, a better Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, and left hander Jason Vargas who gets his second start of the season in the series finale Thursday afternoon.
And for Matt Harvey, perhaps another chance for redemption and that early and unexpected exit from the bullpen and back to a starting role. But this is all about Jacob deGrom. The Mets need him and to be healthy, If not, it is here we go again and flashbacks of 2017 where anything and everything went wrong.
The Mets say they will Keep Fighting and that’s all they can do. Thursday afternoon this first round of adversity begins and all talk will be about Jacob deGrom. They can only hope this is not a long term absence for Jake.