NEW YORK -- This loss stings.
The All-Star Game starter. A Cy Young candidate. One of baseball's best young arms.
Yeah, losing Matt Harvey isn't just another injury the Mets have to deal with this season.
"Any time you're going out there without your ace who is kind of contending for a Cy Young, a starter that you anticipate winning every week -- yeah, it's obviously a downer," Mets catcher John Buck said. "But it's past us now. We have to keep moving forward like we did when David [Wright] went down."
The Mets received perhaps their worst news of the 2013 season on Monday as it was announced that Harvey had a partial tear of the UCL in his throwing arm, and surgery is a possibility. Harvey has been the team's brightest star this season, and given them hope they can win any time he takes the mound.
"Hope for the best for him. It really does suck losing your ace and the future of the pitching staff," Mets first baseman Ike Davis said. "But he'll be back. Don't know when. But he'll be throwing 96 sometime."
Buck, who is close with Harvey and caught him in his last start on Saturday, said he didn't know Harvey was dealing with an injury this severe. He knew there was some soreness, and Harvey's sliders didn't have their usual bite against the Tigers on Saturday, but he didn't believe anything was up.
"Maybe he just had a human day and left a few over the plate to a good hitting team," Buck said.
Instead, Harvey has a partial UCL tear, and could possibly need Tommy John surgery, which could knock him out all of next season.
The Mets hope to take the necessary steps toward becoming a contender in 2014, but Harvey's situation could derail those plans. Harvey said Monday he'd like to avoid surgery.
"He's a really hard worker and whatever needs to be done for him to be better in the future he's going to do. It's a big loss for next year if we lose him," Mets starter Dillon Gee said. "It happens to a lot of different teams, losing big pieces. Got to find a way to get through it."
The Mets enter Monday's game against the Phillies at 58-70, and while it may seem unrealistic at the moment, the team aims to finish this season .500 or better, which would mark its first non-losing season since 2008. The odds are that much harder without Harvey, who had approximately four to five starts left this season due to his innings restriction, but Mets manager Terry Collins isn't making excuses.
"You got to pick up and move on and get ready for tonight and we can't let what happened Saturday or yesterday or the decision today to interfere in any way with our game preparation and what the people who pay to see this team play deserve, and that's maximum effort," Collins said. "We're going to continue to do that."
Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud said losing Harvey had an effect on the Mets clubhouse prior to their 2-1 loss to the Phillies on Monday night.
"It put everybody down," D'Arnaud said. "Such a great guy. We heard the news, everybody was speechless. I just felt terrible man."