The New York Mets' season hit an all-time low Sunday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves. No, it wasn't that their arch nemesis, Chipper Jones, won the game for their rivals. Even worse was the two injuries that occurred to two of the Mets' most important pieces this season
Jose Reyes and Daniel Murphy had to leave the game with injuries, with one particularly more serious than the other.
Murphy suffered a Grade 2 MCL tear and will be done for the season, according to a source that spoke with ESPN NY's Adam Rubin. He will not need surgery, but will need four months to recover. With Nick Evans getting the start at first base, Murphy came in as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning and then played second base. The Braves' Jose Constanza stole second base and slid high, getting Murphy with his cleat on the outside of the left knee.
This was the first injury on the day for the Mets, as Reyes left in the bottom of the second inning with stiffness in his left hamstring, which he said he received running out a grounder in the first. General manager Sandy Alderson said it looks like a "mild pull of his hamstring," which is the same injury that caused him to be placed on the disabled list in early July. Reyes received an MRI, so the Mets did not officially comment on the injury, but it appears that it is not serious.
Murphy's injury is truly upsetting as he he has been a very hard worker and was enjoying an exceptional year at the plate: .320/.362/.448. He has six home runs. 49 RBI and 28 doubles on the season. While his defense has been an adventure this season, watching him hit has been a pleasure. When Carlos Beltran was traded to the San Francisco Giants, Terry Collins inserted Murphy into the No. 3 spot in the order and Murphy has continued to flat-out rake.
"All he was saying was 'Get me off the field' -- that's all he kept saying, was 'Get me off the field, get me off the field.' [Trainer Ray Ramirez] tried to get him calmed down. You could tell he was hurting," said Collins, who added that he was "sick to (his) stomach" for Murphy, who tore his right MCL last June while in Triple-A Buffalo and missed the remainder of the year.
Reyes' leg maladies have been well-documented, and each injury, to me, makes it more likely Alderson will not go crazy to bring him back to town, but it does make it less likely teams will go wild over him. When he's on the field, his value is extraordinary as a dynamic leadoff man and energizing force. He ranks fifth in the league with a 5.6 Fangraphs' WAR.
With Reyes and Murphy out, David Wright had to play first base for the first time since high school. Evans played third base, Lucas Duda first base and Justin Turner second base.
What can the Mets do to keep Reyes on the field. Even Collins is lost for words:
"I don't know what to say accept this is not a fatigue factor. ... He's only been out two weeks from the two weeks that we were off," said Collins, also noting that Reyes loosens his legs before each game.
Monday's lineup figures to be an interesting one, and without Reyes and Murphy, David Wright is the one setting it apart from the Houston Astros' lineup, which looks like a 4A one right now.
If one thing is certain: injuries continue to cripple the Mets' chances of competing ... year after year.