The Mets can only hope they won’t face a more grueling stretch this season than the one they just completed.
Sunday marked the conclusion of 33 games in 31 days for the Mets, which included six doubleheaders. The Mets went 17-16 and finished exactly where they started in the NL East, ahead by 3 ¹/₂ games at the All-Star break.
“I don’t know if you can necessarily see it on the field, but the guys were tired,” Michael Conforto said after the Mets’ 6-5 loss to the Pirates at Citi Field. “We really had to dig deep over that stretch.”
The Mets don’t have another doubleheader scheduled until Aug. 31, when they will resume a suspended game against the Marlins. But it only takes a rainy day for that schedule to change.
After playing six straight games on the road in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati to start the second half, the Mets will get an off day before a stretch in which they play 17 straight days.
“These four days will be huge for us,” Conforto said. “They came at the right time and we’re looking to be fresh when we start when we get back.”
Jacob deGrom threw a bullpen session before the game, removing him from consideration to pitch. The Mets ace would have been working on short rest after starting Wednesday against the Brewers. Rojas said it was more important for deGrom to get his rest for the second half. Though the manager hasn’t yet announced his rotation for post-All Star break, he said it’s unlikely deGrom would pitch the first game. Taijuan Walker’s potential usage in the All-Star Game Tuesday could potentially affect which day he pitches.
The Mets will reconvene Thursday for an informal workout at Citi Field before flying to Pittsburgh later in the day. Rojas said the team is planning to get in early work at PNC Park on Friday.
David Peterson played catch before the game, his first activity since going on the injured list with an oblique strain on July 1.
Nick Tropeano was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for Jerad Eickhoff, who was selected to the roster before the game. Stephen Tarpley was designated for assignment to create space on the 40-man roster for Eickhoff.