Mickey Callaway and the Mets moved to 2-0 on the season, as they defeated the Cardinals 6-2 on Saturday. Jacob deGrom was solid in his season debut, Yoenis Cespedes went yard (sup, Joel Sherman), Todd Frazier drove in three runs, and Jeurys Familia completed a four-out save.
However, there was one negative takeaway from the game: Anthony Swarzak exiting in the eighth inning due to what is currently being called a sore oblique.
“I’ve never felt anything like this in my side before,” Swarzak said. “I’ve never been an injury prone type of person. Between my calf during spring training and now this I’m trying to take it one day at a time and see how it feels tomorrow.”
Absolutely no one wanted to hear this. For now, there are no tests planned, and we’re officially in wait-and-see mode.
It’s early. Like, ridiculously early. But the bullpen already has a different feel to it. Swarzak looks like the real deal and Robert Gsellman is quickly proving himself in his transition to a role in relief. With how the game is played today, your bullpen is equally as important as the starting rotation.The Mets have a very formidable group in place, and losing Swarzak for any extended period of time could be a big blow.
Fortunately, between A.J. Ramos, Jerry Blevins, and an emerging Gsellman to go along with Familia in the backend of the pen, there is depth. But as I expect Callaway to follow in his mentor Terry Francona’s footsteps -- using his best arms in what he believes to be the most vital parts of a game no matter the inning -- we need to acknowledge that doing so won’t be nearly as easy to accomplish if Swarzak, or any other of those arms I mentioned, ends up sidelined.
I’m not going to panic yet. Like Swarzak we’ll just have to wait and see how he feels tomorrow and in the days to come. The Mets already caught one break with the Jason Vargas injury. If they get the same luck with Swarzak then that’s a sign that it really is a new day in Queens.
Sandy, if you’re reading this, please do us all a favor and delete Hansel Robles number from your phone as a precaution.
Not only did it seal the victory, Yoenis Céspedes' monster grand slam taught Mets fans a lesson worth remembering this season: Don't panic over a couple of losses. Not with this team.