That sound you heard over Citi Field tonight, was the collective gasp for ace Jacob deGrom. The Mets best pitcher left after four innings with a hyperextended elbow. He’s in an MRI tube tonight and the team will get the results in the morning.
Say a novena. A rosary or whatever type of prayer you want. The Mets need it tonight.
“I won’t sleep very good,” said manager Mickey Callaway.
“I’m definitely going to say a prayer for him tonight,” added Todd Frazier.
You can tell this was no ordinary 7-0 loss to the Beaves. Usually the Mets are pretty upbeat when it comes to taking it on the chin. The veteran team knows its going to have days where its going to have its tail kicked. Generally, they just turn the page.
Tonight, was different. There is more of a graveyard feeling in there as the deGrom injury looms mightily overhead. There are few players the Mets must keep healthy all season if they plan on contending. Yoenis Cespedes, Noah Syndergaard and of course, deGrom lead the list.
No Jake. No chance. It’s just as simple as that.
Sure, they all put on a brave face, but you know what alternatives to deGrom. Corey Oswalt? Ugh. Matt Harvey? Let’s party. You see what I mean.
“We have options,” Callaway said. “Someone is going to have to step up if we get some bad news.”
And that’s going to be the biggest test for this club. The Mets are holding their own after the fast start, but you are starting to see some cracks in the façade. Without deGrom for a long period of time, they will be taxed with finding another elite pitcher. Right now, Harvey, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler are not it. Jason Vargas is a solid No. 3 and not an ace.
It’s simple. Outside of deGrom, that guy doesn’t exist right now.
Which is why you can understand the concern. A happy April can easily become a miserable May, putting any October hopes to bed. No one wants that. It’s why the ever-positive Jay Bruce seemed concerned and Frazier pulled a page out of Mark Messier’s and Brendan Shanahan’s book of deception by ripping the umpires, in hopes reporters will take the bait and put the deGrom news on hold.
(And yes, he is right, the umpiring is inconsistent, but that is a discussion for another day, Todd.)
None of that matters if tomorrow morning, the outlook is bleak. The good news is that this injury came from swinging the bat, something man regulars do a couple of times a year and just brush it off a couple of days later. But deGrom is a pitcher and his right wing is his moneymaker, so you don’t know how it will react to being pulled.
So now we wait and hope. It’s fortunate the Mets have a day game tomorrow, so they can get any good or bad news like this out of the way. They will know and have this reported before you have your second cup of coffee.
The next 12 hours, well that’s going to be tough. Callaway isn’t going to sleep well, and Frazier is going to say a prayer or two in between making his list of umpiring complaints for the commissioner. The rest of Mets nation will just hold their collective breaths and hopefully wake up to good news in the morning.
Met fans have been through this before, so ride through the punches.