2:25pm: Syndergaard has a “possible lat strain,” according to the Mets. After opting against an MRI previously, he’ll head back to New York to undergo one (Twitter link via Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record).
1:25pm: In what could be a disastrous turn of events for the Mets, ace Noah Syndergaard left his start against the Nationals on Sunday after 1 1/3 innings with an apparent injury. The right-hander grabbed his biceps as he walked off the mound with a trainer, David Lennon of Newsday was among those to report (via Twitter).
Syndergaard was supposed to start for the Mets this past Thursday, but they had to scratch him on account of biceps discomfort, which makes Sunday’s development all the more troubling. The 24-year-old denied a request to undergo an MRI, telling reporters (via ESPN.com): “I think I know my body best. I’m pretty in tune with my body, and that’s exactly why I refused to take the MRI.”
General manager Sandy Alderson noted that Syndergaard’s decision was unusual and added, “I can’t strap him down and throw him in the tube.”
A serious injury to Syndergaard would be the most significant blow yet to a starting staff that hasn’t been the picture of health this season. Both Steven Matz and Seth Lugo have been out all year with injuries, and neither will return imminently. Meanwhile, Matt Harvey hasn’t been sharp in his comeback from the thoracic outlet syndrome surgery he underwent in 2016, and Zack Wheeler has run up a 4.78 ERA (albeit with a 3.83 FIP) in his first action since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2015. Health hasn’t been a problem lately for Robert Gsellman, on the other hand, though run prevention has (6.23 ERA, 3.69 FIP).
The flame-throwing Syndergaard was ineffective in his brief start Sunday, yielding four earned runs on five hits and two walks, but his numbers for 2017 remain excellent. Arguably the best righty in the majors, Syndergaard has logged a 2.96 ERA, 10.54 K/9, .66 BB/9 and a 57.7 percent ground-ball rate through 27 1/3 frames. He and Jacob deGrom have continued to serve as front-line starters this year for a club that entered the season with World Series hopes but has won only 10 of its first 23 games.