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They were going to be the best rotation the Mets ever had. They were going to be the best rotation in Major League history. Flamethrowers…long, flowing hair…superhero nicknames…and now…not a single one is in the Mets starting rotation.
That’s right…with the announcement that Jacob deGrom has been placed on the Injured List with right side inflammation (that’s the current diagnosis), it means that the best rotation the Mets were ever going to have took the path of the last staff to garner that moniker – Generation K. The rotation of deGrom, Syndergaard, Wheeler, Matz, Harvey…has seemingly turned into Isringhausen, Pulsipher, Wilson, and Jones.
In fact, the next one of the recent five to start at CitiField? The Dark Knight returns to Gotham in the black and orange of the Baltimore Orioles. Harvey, of course, was the first one to be cast off in 2018, after 2 ½ seasons of an inability to recover from the devasting loss in the 2015 World Series. He had returned from Tommy John surgery to be effective during the 2015 season before pushing the limit of his innings allowance and then was never showing any resemblance of his former self from the onset of the 2016 season.
The wheels are coming off. Can the wheels really be coming off when the team is 17-12 and still in second place? Well, if you look at the fact that, take away the nine-game winning streak, the Mets have been less than stellar, the record is truly deceiving. And the Atlanta Braves, the REBUILDING Atlanta Braves, truly embarrassed the Mets in the three-game series at Citifield to move them past the Mets into first place.
And perhaps Sandy Alderson and new manager Mickey Callaway have had enough of the “embarrassments” as the shocking news is that Matt Harvey has been DFA’d (Designated For Assignment) after Harvey rejected a request that he agree to go to the minors to fix himself rather than continue to embarrass himself at the big club…and any other club he seems to be stumbling out of at night where ever he is.
There’s no shame in going to the bullpen. Just ask John Smoltz. The man is in the Hall of Fame. He was one of the best starting pitchers in the game, and a member of a Hall of Fame triumvirate that anchored an Atlanta Braves team that dominated the National League Eastern Division for a decade.
He went to the bullpen after coming back from Tommy John surgery, and for four years became one of the best closers in the game. He then returned to the rotation to continue as a dominant starter. Smoltz is the only pitcher in Major League history to surpass 200 wins and 150 saves. So what’s the problem?
You know who else was sent to the bullpen when he couldn’t cut it as a starting pitcher? He turned out to be the guy that, not once, but twice came in to a game and shut down the opposition. Once was in the National League Championship Series and then he followed it up in the World Series with another dominating performance. Oh…the year was 1969…and the pitcher was none other than, yes, Nolan Ryan. Another Hall of Famer.