Regardless of whether the Mets win or lose today’s game against the Phillies (they lost 4-2), the team has hit bottom following Jacob deGrom’s inexplicable exit from the game after one inning.
Jacob deGrom aside, the New York Mets were supposed to be taking extra precautions this year from shooting themselves in the foot by complicating or ignoring injuries that occurred through the normal flow of a season.
The team, in fact, hired a person individually responsible (can anyone remember his name and where has he been, lately?) to stem the tide of injuries, especially those suffered by Mets pitchers. And newly appointed Mets manager, Mickey Callaway, promised to take steps himself by drawing from the wealth of knowledge he gained as the pitching coach for the wildly successful Cleveland Indians.
Whatever happened today with Jacob deGrom and his one inning work in which he threw an astounding 45 pitches and surrendered three walks before he was removed from the game, will be revealed by the Mets tonight or tomorrow, but rest assured, the news will not be good.
All the Mets should have heard from this clip is, “It didn’t feel good”…
What began with what was diagnosed as an extended elbow while Jacob deGrom was batting, has now come full circle and the Mets can only await their ill-fated results from procrastination, or at this point, maybe just total ignorance in how to handle the ace of your staff (sorry, Noah Syndergaard) when anything pointing to a possible injury occurs.
Whether it is Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians, Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox, or the New Yankees and Luis Severino, teams just don’t do what the Mets have done. Ten-days on the DL (minimum) is assigned, regardless of what the player says.
We don’t know know what Jason deGrom did or didn’t say about how he felt before today’s start. If he took one for the team and said the hell with it, I’m pitching today, then that’s on him. But a pitcher is not always aware of when he is injured, or when the propensity for injury is more present.
And let’s be fair. Fred and Jeff Wilpon did not decide to pitch Jason deGrom today. Nor did Sandy Alderson. This one falls squarely on the shoulders of Mickey Callaway and his pitching coach, Dave Eiland.
Both know better, so why the rush to get deGrom back in there so soon? Was it because the Mets are in a freefall and Callaway is starting to feel the sting of the New York media, especially following the blunder of his team batting out of order due to contrasting lineups posted in the dugout versus the one handed to the umpire?
Let’s hope not. Instead, let’s hope that whatever happened to Jacob deGrom today will not be traced back to a previous medical condition that the Mets should have known about. Because otherwise, the Mets season is likely to implode in ways that remind of the past. And all the hoopla about change will be revealed as just that – hoopla with no real substance.
Jacob deGrom should not have pitched today. With five months remaining in the season, the wise choice would be for him to skip a start, or maybe even two. Prescribe tests along the way and perhaps a bullpen session or two. In essence, treat deGrom for what he is – a valuable commodity to your ballclub, and not like journeyman you hire for a start or two to get you through some tough times.
In case you haven’t noticed, this whole episode angers me. And I dare to find another fan of the Mets who don’t agree.