“MRI? MRI? I don’t need no stinkin’ MRI.” – Noah Syndergaard
As I wrote this morning, Noah Syndergaard’s refusal to take an MRI on his sore right arm – biceps tendinitis was the initial diagnosis – smacked of stupidity and arrogance, from both the pitcher and management.
As for Syndergaard, I get it, you think of yourself as the fictional superhero the media and fans label you and there’s the desire to show how tough you are. However, save it for Game 7 of the World Series, not Game 24 in April, when your team’s season and arguably your career, could be on the line.
Long before Syndergaard and the Mets were torched 23-5 by the Nationals today, it has been a bad week for the ace, who was first scratched with what was called a “tired arm’’ Wednesday and upgraded to biceps tendinitis the following day, one in which he ripped into a club official in the clubhouse and was subsequently called out in the press.
Finally, there was Syndergaard’s refusal to get an MRI, saying at the time: “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.”
So, Noah, what’s your body telling you now as you head to New York for the MRI tomorrow morning you refused?
Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters it is a “possible lat strain, which may or may not be related to his original problem … we’ll know more after he’s examined.”
While the biceps and lat aren’t physically connected, even so, why push it? There was no mistaking everything about Syndergaard’s performance today was not right. Yes, he threw 100 mph., early, but his command was off and he gave up five runs in the first inning.
Then, it looked as if Syndergaard sensed something wasn’t right and muscled up on his pitches as to throw harder in the second. When he reached under his armpit after throwing a strike to Bryce Harper with one out, you knew the second-guess wheels were spinning. And, not just from Syndergaard.
Alderson, who defiantly said, “I can’t strap him down and throw him in the tube,” after Syndergaard brushed back the MRI the way he would a hitter crowding the plate. Alderson didn’t address whether he should have insisted Syndergaard get the MRI or prohibited from pitching until he did. He also didn’t revisit the issue with his pitcher.
“We didn’t get into that,” Alderson said. “I didn’t think it was necessary at that particular time. He understands something is going on now.”
As for Collins, considering what Syndergaard has physically been going through, it had to be apparent to him the pitcher he wasn’t right in the first.
Collins had to make the decision to pull Syndergaard early if not give him the ball in the first place.
Nobody is blameless in this.
ON DECK LATER TODAY: Mets Wrap: Duda not ready.