If the Mets had a collective walk-up/intro song, it would be “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.
If they had a favorite movie clip, it would be young Kevin Bacon saying “Remain calm . . . all is well!” during the riot scene in “Animal House” and then getting flattened by the rampaging crowd.
Because almost everybody hurts. And all is not well.
Jacob deGrom is the latest Met to be stuffed into an MRI tube and come out with a murky bill of health.
The Mets announced via news release last evening that deGrom is “experiencing soreness in his right forearm” and “is likely to miss his next start.”
Then the Mets went out and lost their second in a row, this one a 4-1 decision to the presumptive NL East champion Nationals, who lead the Mets by 10[/DROPCAP] 1⁄2 games in the division.
You remember the division, right? The thing the Mets won over Washington by seven games in 2015 on their way to the World Series. Nobody in Flushing talks about it anymore. It’s wild card or bust.
The Mets would never admit it, but they gave up on the NL East title long ago. Their many injuries have made this a bailing-water-and-trying-to-stay-afloat September.
Actually, it’s remarkable that the Mets have any postseason hopes when you consider that three-fourths of their starting infield is out for the season, that Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera have two good legs between them, and that every key starting pitcher with the exception of the indestructible Bartolo Colon is either injured or pitching with an injury.
That news of a deGrom injury was going to come out Friday was obvious when he was spotted calling for trainer Ray Ramirez after finishing a frustrating start Thursday night. It was hard to believe deGrom’s postgame denials that “everything’s fine.”
Even Friday, deGrom said, “Honestly, I’m not really that concerned about it.”
Cue Kevin Bacon. Cue the stampede.
If deGrom wants to hide his ailment from the media, that’s his choice. But in this case, the truth hurt, enough that deGrom will not throw until, as the Mets put it, “the discomfort subsides.”
And deGrom experienced the soreness after he had a start skipped to work on his mechanics. That now smells a little like a fish story designed to keep news of an injury from leaking out. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Either way, deGrom joins Steven Matz as starters who are waiting for discomfort to subside. Matz’s is in his shoulder and he also has a bone spur in his elbow that will need surgery after the season. Matt Harvey is out for the year, Zack Wheeler never made it back and Noah Syndergaard is pitching with a bone spur in his elbow.
Add that to the season-ending injuries suffered by David Wright, Lucas Duda and Neil Walker and the Mets are fortunate to be two games behind the Cardinals in the wild-card race, if you can call it that. The top five teams in the wild-card race all lost Friday night.
Going up against competition like that, can the Mets make it to the playoffs? Sure.
As long as Syndergaard pitches the way he did Friday night, when he allowed two runs in seven innings, and Cespedes and Cabrera stay on the field long enough to drive in big runs, and Jose Reyes continues his renaissance and Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson or Michael Conforto discover their strokes and no one else gets hurt.
But what do you think the odds are of that last one happening?