After losing their final two games in Miami, the Mets returned home last night and had to deal with some punches in the gut.
When July ended, the Mets were on an upswing. Even if the chances of a magical run to the Playoffs were close to nil, it was still refreshing to see the team playing an exciting brand of baseball in what’s hopefully the transition season before the real fun begins in 2014.
They may still continue to go in that direction over the final two months of the season, but yesterday’s injuries put a temporary damper on things.
First, it was learned that lefty reliever Josh Edgin may miss the remainder of the season with a hairline fracture of his rib. Edgin, 26, had been stellar since being recalled from AAA Las Vegas in June. In the 19.2 innings since his return, he had allowed just 2 earned runs, lowering his ERA to 3.77. With Edgin starting to resemble the solid reliever he was during parts of 2012, his injury came at a very inopportune time.
Then, the bullpen took another hit (albeit a temporary one), when it was reported that closer Bobby Parnell was likely unavailable for all three games of the weekend series against Kansas City. Parnell has been dealing with a stiff neck, and the Mets are being cautious with him.
The first two injuries were bad enough, but the real stomach punch came when David Aardsma blew the save in the ninth. That prolonged the game and paved the way for David Wright‘s hamstring injury in the 10th inning.
Wright had been playing with a tender right hamstring, so he may very well have been a ticking time bomb. Still, Parnell’s absence resulted in Aardsma’s insertion as last night’s closer. And Aardsma’s failure to nail down the victory led directly to Wright’s injury.
Last night’s victory was as hollow as victories get. When Eric Young, Jr. smoked a walkoff homer into the netting in right field in the 11th inning, I didn’t even move. I ordinarily explode with joy, but I just didn’t have it in me last night.
Most Mets fans (myself included) went through a “woe is us” phase after the game. It was clear that David Wright was about to land on the disabled list, but there was a very thin silver lining (or so we hoped). That silver lining was to be the arrival of top hitting prospect Wilmer Flores to fill in for Wright. The Mets, though, had other ideas.
Instead of promoting Flores (who is tearing up AAA), they opted to recall Mike Baxter and go with either Justin Turner or Daniel Murphy at third base in David Wright’s absence. The Flores snub has been discussed here already, so I won’t dive back into it.
The task now for the Mets is to continue motoring in the right direction while without their main offensive threat and clubhouse leader. It’ll be tough, but I have a strange feeling the team will persevere through this.
Parnell will hopefully return within a matter of days, Jonathon Niese should be back in the rotation in about a week, and prized catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud could arrive for his big league debut sometime in the next few weeks.
Losing David Wright for an extended period of time hurts. Hopefully, it won’t cripple the team and put a damper on what was turning out to be a feel good second half.