It was a weekend to forget for the New York Mets, who were swept away by the Tampa Bay Rays to begin their 10-game road trip.
And to make matters worse, the Mets lost two other key players to hamstring injuries at second base Jeff McNeil and right fielder Michael Conforto, as the two came out at the start of Sunday’s contest.
McNeil first faced what the Mets were calling “cramps” earlier in the week, which kept him out of Wednesday’s game before returning to the roster on Friday as DH. The club played it safe by putting him in on Saturday, then on Sunday McNeil worsened his hamstrings after trying to beat a ball at first base.
“It kind of carried over,” McNeil said. “I felt good yesterday and before the game I felt pretty good all down the line. The last 5-10ft he grabbed me, nothing really bad but something we need to watch.
“It’s nothing too important. I didn’t really feel any tightness, just a little bit of tension. I didn’t feel 100%. It’s hard, Conforto falls today and the injuries we had. As it turns out, we’ve all had the injury virus at the same time. But I have great faith in the guys who play for us.
As for Conforto, he also injured himself while running after he shot lame and immediately grabbed his right hamstring.
After the match, the Mets manager Luis Rojas said McNeil (left hamstring) and Conforto (right hamstring) will have MRI scans on Monday morning and then the team will re-evaluate next steps from there.
“Hamstring issues are no joke,” Rojas said. “We want to see how they are spending the day and tomorrow morning we are going to do some tests and MRIs. With hamstrings, you are definitely concerned.
The Mets have been ravaged by injuries lately, with Brandon nimmo suffering a setback on his rehabilitation mission, Jacob deGrom and Albert Almora Jr. reaches the injured list, and Jd davis still coming back from his second stint.
Fortunately, the substitutes have stepped up and performed without the regulars away, but how long can they continue? Losing McNeil and Conforto are two big hits and come at a very bad time, as the team’s IL roster keeps growing.
“The whole team is always focused on winning,” said Marcus Stroman, who gave up five runs in six innings, like the losing pitcher on Sunday. “It’s obviously a big blow. We can’t wait to get these guys back, but no one will feel sorry for us.
If we told you that the Mets would be 18-16 and still lead the NL East standings with the injuries they suffered, that would be seen as a positive. But there is certainly some concern moving forward as they have continued to be criticized by the injury virus.
The hope is that they can walk on the water until they bring some of their regulars back to the club. But so far they haven’t been able to avoid further injuries, and they’ll need more heavy loads from their replacements, until they get some reinforcements back.
In the near term, the Mets will likely have to make a roster or two, as they travel to Atlanta on Monday to face the Braves for a three-game set.