It was bad enough seeing the Mets fail to put away the Dodgers in Game 4. But we also had to endure the sight of Jacob deGrom warming up in the fifth inning. Does the Mets' interest in protecting their prized young pitchers depend on how loudly their agents complain?
According to today's Daily News:
The Mets have said repeatedly that Harvey would not be allowed to pitch
out of the bullpen because they fear the quick warmup would be a chance
for him to re-injure his elbow.
Yet later in the very same article:
Jacob deGrom could be seen throwing in the bullpen in the fifth inning
Tuesday night, leading many to believe he had a chance of entering the
game in relief instead of Colon. Collins said that was, indeed, the
case. The team told deGrom in the afternoon to wait to throw his
scheduled bullpen session until later in case they "might need him.". .
In Game 1 last Saturday, deGrom threw a season-high 121 pitches. We've heard a lot in all the Harvey hullabaloo about how some pitches are more stressful than others. I think it's fair to say that opening the playoffs in a tight game against Clayton Kershaw made those 121 pitches the most stressful deGrom has throw in his career.
And if deGrom ended up using his regular between-starts throwing to actually pitch in Game 4, are we supposed to believe that those playoff game pitches would not be any more stressful than a regular bullpen session?
I understand it's the playoffs and all hands are on deck. But thanks to the Harvey rules, all hands are not fully on deck. And last night was not an elimination game for the Mets.
Game 5 is an elimination game, so if deGrom falters, bring Noah Syndergaard into the game if absolutely necessary. But if deGrom pitched last night and ended up being unavailable for Game 5, who would be there to back up Syndergaard if Noah had to start Game 5? We already know it won't be Harvey, but now it couldn't be deGrom, either. Bartolo Colon has been dependable out of the bullpen, but he's now pitched in three straight games. If Jon Niese has to come in to Game 5 early, Squawker Lisa might as well send me a golf emoji right then, because the Mets season will be over.
Fortunately, deGrom is able to start Game 5 on full rest without a potentially risky relief appearance. Beating Zack Greinke won't be easy, but but the same can be said of beating deGrom. One game. Winner take all. Let's go Mets!