That the Mets are playing well gives them some leeway when it comes to dealing with Lucas Duda’s sore back. That they aren’t running away with the division means they must be concerned. The 3.5-game lead the Mets had heading into today’s game could vanish in less than a week.
What the Mets can’t afford is to wait until the rosters expand Sept. 1 before deciding temporarily shutting down Duda. As much as manager Terry Collins wants Duda in the lineup this weekend against Pittsburgh, it is more important to play this thing smart.
Duda was given some medication and there’s a 24-hour window before the Mets know if it will take effect.
“The trainers and doctors feel that in another 24 hours they’ll have a better determination of if it’s going to work and how he’s going to feel,’’ Collins told reporters.
“He doesn’t feel much better today than he did yesterday. The one thing I’m not going to do is aggravate it to the point where it bothers his swing.’’
Somehow, the Mets have survived playing shorthanded this summer, but can’t keep defying the odds. If Duda is unable to play Friday against the Pirates, the prudent decision might be to shut him down on the disabled list so he’ll be available for the stretch drive.
The Mets haven’t always handled injuries wisely and forcing Duda when he’s not ready and possibly further injuring himself to where they won’t have him at the most important part of what is becoming a magical season would be foolish.