Things have gone from bad to worse for the Mets, as ace Noah Syndergaard was scratched from Thursday’s scheduled start against the Braves due to a sore biceps and a tired arm.
“It’s a little thing right now, but we definitely don’t want to turn it into a big thing,” Syndergaard told reporters before Thursday’s game.
The Mets, losers of nine of their past 10 games, decided it was best to skip Syndergaard’s turn in the rotation for now, but have yet to put the righty ace on the 10-day disabled list.
While the injury has not been deemed serious, the Mets are right to be cautious with their prized No. 1 starter. Syndergaard has been the unquestioned leader of New York’s starting rotation, having pitched to a 1-1 record with a 1.79 ERA through his first four starts of the season.
“This guy’s a pretty big piece to the puzzle,” manager Terry Collins said. “We’ll just wait to have the doctors examine him and see where we are.”
Syndergaard was originally scheduled to pitch Wednesday night, but told the team he was feeling sore after his bullpen session Tuesday.
“It kind of started irritating me a couple of days ago, and I tried to throw through it and then I took some anti-inflammatories and woke up the next day and was feeling as good as new,” Syndergaard said. “Then I played catch [Wednesday] and felt great playing catch and then it kind of stiffened up.”
Robert Gsellman pitched in Syndergaard’s spot Wednesday and Matt Harvey started in his place Thursday.
The loss of Syndergaard for any period of time would be a costly blow for the Mets, who have struggled through the first month of the season.
New York entered play Thursday with an 8-12 record and trailed the Washington Nationals by 6 1/2 games. For a team with playoff and World Series aspirations, the season could not have gotten off to a worse start for the Mets.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe