Around the same time Robert Stock was walking off the Great American Ball Park mound with a right hamstring injury on Tuesday, Carlos Carrasco was wrapping up his own abbreviated five-run outing for Triple-A Syracuse. Earlier in the day, Noah Syndergaard threw off flat ground, though he’s more than a month away from a return. As for Jacob deGrom, who knows? Mets officials say his right forearm injury is minor, but he hasn’t thrown a baseball since it happened.
Such is the state of the Mets’ rotation, which has become so ragged that the team has called up four pitchers in the last two days alone. One of them was Stock, who injured his hamstring about an hour after the Mets promoted him from Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets spent the rest of the night simply trying to survive what became a 4-3 loss to the Reds.
And so New York continues to find itself in an unenviable position, despite living in first place for more than 10 consecutive weeks. With deGrom, Carrasco, Syndergaard, David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi and others all sidelined, the Mets are relying regularly on the Stocks and Jerad Eickhoffs of the world. And while they’ve mustered more than their share of wins in spite of that quandary, their injuries are piling up at such a significant rate — they’ve now placed 28 players on the IL, with Stock perhaps about to become the 29th — that their current rate of success seems all but unsustainable.
To that end, the Mets lost on Tuesday despite mustering multiple late rallies. Ultimately, three early home runs off Stock and reliever Stephen Nogosek proved too much to overcome.