Syndergaard returned to the Mets on Thursday following a two-day absence, feeling “extremely under the weather,” according to Collins. At Citi Field, he continued receiving medication and fluids, hoping to return to the rotation Monday or Tuesday in Miami. The Mets are eager to use Syndergaard in one of those two games, knowing such a schedule would keep him available to pitch one of their final two regular-season games in Philadelphia.
Initially, Syndergaard was scheduled to start this Saturday and next Friday, then the NL Wild Card game if the Mets qualify. But his revamped schedule makes it unlikely that he would be available for more than an emergency relief appearance in that win-or-go-home game.
“Right now, in our situation, we can’t worry about Oct. 5,” Collins said, referring to the Wild Card game. “We’ve got to worry about being there on Oct. 1. We’re just hoping right now, with the medication, with some rest, with some nourishment, that he gets some energy back to where he can pitch maybe Monday, Tuesday. And then when we get into the last three games of the season, we’ll see where we sit.”
In Syndergaard’s absence, the Mets hope Gilmartin can at least pitch into the fifth inning Saturday. But that is a best-case scenario for Gilmartin, who owns a 4.76 ERA and has not thrown more than 15 pitches in an outing since August. More likely, the Mets will once again have to lean heavily on a bullpen that they’ve taxed in recent days.
“That is a daily challenge that we face,” Collins said. “We’ve talked about it. It’s difficult. That’s why some of those guys in the bullpen, they’ve got to step up. They’ve got to step up and give us quality innings. … It’s been a challenge to keep our pitching strong and rested.”
If Syndergaard, who is 13-9 with a 2.63 ERA, can return early next week, he will certainly help on that front. The Mets are currently playing their most important games of the year without Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz, their top four starters heading into the season. Harvey and deGrom have both undergone season-ending surgeries, while Matz is unlikely to return before October.
Of the Mets’ five Opening Day starters, only 43-year-old Bartolo Colon has not missed a start.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Source: Mets News / Syndergaard feels better, may start vs. Miami