Noah Syndergaard landed on the disabled list with a strained index finger on his pitching hand.
This meant the Mets were playing with a 24-man roster for Tuesday's game in Atlanta.
That sort of became a big deal when Steven Matz left the game after warming up in the bottom of the fourth due to discomfort in his middle finger.
That's pretty much what Mets fans wanted to give this day after the team proceeded to blow a 4-0 lead. The Mets led 6-3 after seven, but the Braves scored three in the eighth off somebody named Jacob Rhame, and then Johan Camargo delivered off a dude named Gerson Bautista:
The Mets were left scrambling, with P.J. Conlon optioned to Triple-A after starting Monday and Syndergaard landing on the DL. Remember, they played a doubleheader Monday -- and Jeurys Familia threw two innings and 28 pitches, and Hansel Robles threw three innings and 45 pitches -- so they were a little short at the back of the bullpen. Jason Vargas is already scheduled to start Wednesday on short rest, and Seth Lugo wasn't available because he's supposed to start Thursday.
You can imagine how the critics reacted to all this:
Imagine the problems the Mets would be having if the team wasn't in the hands of a pitching guru?— Mike Francesa (@MikeFrancesa) May 30, 2018
Cespedes trying to find someone on the Mets who isn't injured pic.twitter.com/XzB7cQ3jJ2— Shannon (@Miss_Met) May 30, 2018
The DL list currently includes Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, Todd Frazier, Wilmer Flores, Juan Lagares (likely out for the season), Travis d'Arnaud (out for the season), Anthony Swarzak and AJ Ramos. If I'm Mr. Met, I'm taking out extra health insurance.
Still, being left a man short is inexcusable. Syndergaard's side session came Monday, but he had a little soreness after his previous start, according to manager Mickey Callaway. Given the doubleheader Monday, the team should have been prepared to have somebody ready to get to Atlanta. No, you can't count on Matz leaving with an injury -- unless you're the Mets, when you should apparently always count on somebody getting injured.
As Matz left the game, Mets announcer Keith Hernandez summed it up: "I'm at a loss for words ... and I'm paid to talk."
It's been that kind of season for the Mets.
As for the Braves ... I've been saying they need a third baseman, but maybe Camargo is the solution. He's hitting .230/.391/.414 with more walks than strikeouts.
The Braves, man.— Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli) May 30, 2018
It is my sincerest hope that this Braves team finally brings Kevin Seitzer the acclaim he's deserved as a hitting coach for over a decade now. Nick Markakis? Kurt Suzuki?! Johan Camargo?!?!
Yankees rally against Houston bullpen: This isn't a game the Yankees should have won. They made five errors. They struck out 17 times. The starter allowed five runs in five innings. Yet there they were in the bottom of the ninth, trailing 5-3, with a runner on and Brett Gardner at the plate:
The game went extra innings. In the top of the 10th, Tony Kemp was on second base with two out when Aroldis Chapman uncorked a 100 mph fastball over Gary Sanchez's head. Kemp took off for third, but the ball miraculously rebounded off the backstop on a line right to Sanchez, who threw out Kemp.
Aaron Boone walked into his postgame media session with a big smile on his face. He should smile. That's five wins for the Yankees after trailing entering the ninth inning, most in the majors. Boone liked the resilience of the two rookies, producing the winning run after making errors earlier in the game. The bullpen allowed just two hits over five scoreless innings.
Speaking of bullpens ... Houston's pen feels like a much bigger problem than its fourth-best 3.02 ERA would suggest. The pen hasn't had to pitch many high-leverage innings because the Astros have had a lot of blowout wins. Houston fell to 4-11 in one-run games, however, and dropped to 1-4 in extra-inning games.
In terms of Win Probability Added, which sort of works as a proxy for "clutch," the Astros' bullpen entered Tuesday ranked 19th in the majors. Chris Devenski, who blew the save, still has a 2.08 ERA. Peacock has a 2.91 ERA. Hector Rondon has been pretty good. Collin McHugh has allowed two runs in 22⅔ innings. Ken Giles ... well, he hasn't walked anybody in 17 innings.
I think the pen is fine. But I can sense the worry from Astros fans.
Blue Jays refuse to put best team on field: With Josh Donaldson out of the lineup Tuesday, the Blue Jays started Russell Martin at third base. On Saturday, Martin started at shortstop. While it's admirable that a catcher can fill in at third and shortstop, it's worth pointing out that Martin is a catcher hitting .165 filling in at third base and shortstop. Do the Blue Jays have any other options for the infield? Let me think ...
Russell Martin at third base tonight for Toronto; meanwhile Vlad Guerrero Jr hit his 11th homer and discovered cold fusion while rounding second— keithlaw (@keithlaw) May 30, 2018
Vlad Jr. is now hitting .426/.474/.716 for Double-A New Hampshire, with just 21 strikeouts in 47 games. What are the Blue Jays waiting for? You can make all the excuses you want: He's just 19 years old, his defense needs work, he has just two months above Double-A and you don't want to rush him, there's nowhere to play him.
It's all nonsense. Vlad Jr. is ready for the show. Too young? He's hitting .426! With power! His defense needs work? Maybe it does, but he has made just five errors in Double-A, and Clay Davenport's minor league defensive translations show Guerrero as a plus defender. Don't want to rush him? Keith followed with a list of teenagers who batted at least 50 times.
It's a good list: Cesar Cedeno, Darrell Porter, Robin Yount, Claudell Washington, Ricky Seilheimer, Jose Oquendo, Gary Sheffield, Juan Gonzalez, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones, Edgar Renteria, Adrian Beltre, Melvin Upton, Justin Upton, Bryce Harper. Mike Trout had 47 PAs before turning 20. OK, you've never heard of Ricky Seilheimer, but you know those other guys.
The point: Guerrero isn't going to be ruined by getting called up. Special players can play in the majors as teenagers, and Guerrero is special.
Nowhere to play him? I get that you don't want to move Donaldson off third base when he's actually able to take the field. OK, but it seems like he would benefit from a couple designated-hitter games a week. The regular DH is Kendrys Morales, and he's hitting .193/.271/.328.
The Blue Jays are 25-30 after an 8-3 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday. It's now or never. Call up the kid.
Stat of the day: The Cubs beat the Pirates 8-6 in the First Game After The Dirty/Not Dirty/Dirty/Maybe Dirty Slide by Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo homered, singled and walked twice, but he wasn't hit by a pitch (Willson Contreras, however, was hit twice).
Our stat belongs to Pirates rookie outfielder Austin Meadows, who slammed his fourth home run in 11 games since his call-up and is hitting .439. According to Elias, he's the fifth player since 1961 to hit .400 with four home runs in his first 40 at-bats, joining Brian Giles, Albert Pujols, Jeff Francoeur and Yasiel Puig. Meadows had been a top prospect but hadn't been able to stay healthy. Here's hoping all those injuries are over and he continues to play well at the major league level.
Snells like a potential All-Star: If you're looking for an All-Star rep for the Rays, how about Blake Snell, who is starting to move up the list of best lefties in the game. He allowed one unearned over 5⅔ innings as the Rays beat the A's, lowering his ERA to 2.56 while holding batters to a .187 average. He came on strong in the second half last year, so this is continued progress. He's the real deal.
Franmil Reyes hits the ball far: I really hope this kid learns to hit because dear lord does he have power:
Can we get a recount on that 442 feet?