Noah Syndergaard has strep throat, scratched from start vs. Phillies

ByAdam Rubin via ESPN logo
Sunday, September 25, 2016

NEW YORK -- So much for the New York Mets lining up Noah Syndergaard for the National League wild-card game on Oct. 5.

Syndergaard's scheduled start on Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies has been shelved because the ace is suffering from strep throat.

Left-hander Sean Gilmartin instead will make a spot start for the Mets.

Manager Terry Collins said the hope is that Syndergaard can return Monday or Tuesday in Miami and not miss a full rotation turn. That would allow Syndergaard to still make two more regular-season starts.

However, Syndergaard no longer would be lined up for the wild-card game.

With the Mets, San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals all bunched within a game in the standings, Collins noted the Mets may no longer have the luxury of lining up a pitcher for the wild-card game.

"Right now, in our situation, we can't worry about Oct. 5," Collins said.

Collins added that the Mets could skip Bartolo Colon or Syndergaard the final weekend of the regular season at Philadelphia and use one of those pitchers in the wild-card game if the Mets are fortunate to clinch early.

The Mets originally had eyed Syndergaard pitching on Saturday and Sept. 30 and then in the wild-card game and Colon pitching the regular-season finale and then Games 1 and 5 of an NLDS.

Although not overly serious, Syndergaard's brief unavailability is the latest blow to a depleted rotation.

The Mets had hoped left-hander Steven Matz would pitch on Friday for the first time since Aug. 14. But Matz experienced renewed shoulder discomfort after throwing a bullpen session Wednesday and was scratched. Rookie Gabriel Ynoa will plug the rotation void for Matz.

Meanwhile, right-hander Jacob deGrom underwent season-ending surgery Wednesday to relocate the ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow. Matt Harvey underwent season-ending surgery in July to remove a rib and alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome, and Zack Wheeler has been shut down until next season because of complications in his rehab from Tommy John surgery.

The Mets already are relying on rookies Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman in the rotation. Both likely would start games should the Mets reach a division series against the Chicago Cubs.

Gilmartin will become the 12th starting pitcher used by the Mets this season. He has thrown no more than 18 pitches in any appearance since rejoining the Mets in late August from Triple-A Las Vegas, so his ability to pitch deep into a game will be an issue.

"As long as I'm out there and throwing pitches that are getting people out, I think I'm able to go out as long as they need me to go," Gilmartin said.

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