PHILADELPHIA -- With their bullpen in tatters after consecutive 14-inning games, the Mets on Sunday made yet another move to shore it up. The team selected the contract of left-hander Dana Eveland from Triple-A Las Vegas, while optioning outfielder Matt den Dekker. That transaction came one day after the Mets called up right-hander Buddy Carlyle, flying him in the morning of Saturday's game and using him for three innings of relief.
Serving mostly as a starter at Las Vegas, Eveland was 4-1 with a 3.91 ERA in 12 appearances. He last pitched on Tuesday in a five-inning start, meaning he is stretched out to give the Mets as many innings as needed in an emergency. His presence should come in handy, regardless, considering the Mets are in the middle of a stretch of 20 consecutive games without an off-day.
"The veterans on the team know what it's about," manager Terry Collins said. "The younger players, they've got to learn how to get through it. It's part of their growing process to learn how to get through back-to-back days like this. They're very uncommon. I don't think anybody's got a foolproof answer of how to respond."
By optioning den Dekker, the Mets were able to preserve the roster spot of Carlyle, who gave the Mets three much-needed scoreless innings in Saturday's 14-inning victory. The Mets will play with a short bench on Sunday, before eventually recalling another outfielder.
den Dekker appeared in just three games off the bench in his Major League cameo, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. The Mets would not have had the flexibility to option den Dekker had regular center fielder Juan Lagares' ribcage injury persisted into Sunday.
In theory, the roster moves meant the Mets did not have to worry about pitching issues in Sunday's game -- though they hoped the same thing on Saturday, before five extra innings destroyed that notion. Right-handers Vic Black and Jenrry Mejia were both unavailable on Saturday; Carlos Torres and Carlyle were likewise presumably on the shelf for Sunday's game.
Mets send Lagares back to New York for MRI
PHILADELPHIA -- A day after calling the ribcage spasms that kept him from starting Saturday's game "nothing big," center fielder Juan Lagares returned to the lineup, but left after 10 innings with pain in the same area.
The Mets planned to send Lagares back to New York City for an MRI.
"I started to feel it the other day a little bit," Lagares said after Sunday's game. "Today, I felt it a little more. When I came here today, I felt like normal. I swung in the cage and didn't feel anything. During the game, in my last at-bat, I felt it a little more and I said, 'I have to stop. That's not normal.'"
Earlier on Sunday, the Mets optioned outfielder Matt den Dekker to Triple-A Las Vegas. But den Dekker never actually made it out of the Philadelphia area, and the Mets instructed him to skip his flight and return to the team in case Lagares must go on the disabled list.
Lagares first began feeling pain early on Saturday, and was a late scratch from that afternoon's 14-inning win over the Phillies. He appeared in the final inning as a pinch-hitter, laying down a successful sacrifice bunt. But manager Terry Collins said he could not have swung the bat, if needed.
After the game, Lagares downplayed the severity of his injury, contradicting Collins by saying he could have swung. By Sunday morning, Lagares was able to convince Mets management that he was healthy enough to play, but aggravated the injury running the bases.
Lagares, 25, entered Sunday with a .291 average and .766 OPS in 41 games. He missed time earlier this season with a hamstring strain, losing significant playing time to Eric Young upon his return. But Lagares had been back to playing every day even before Young went on the disabled list on May 26 with his own hamstring injury.
Lagares was 1-for-5 with a stolen base before leaving Sunday's 4-3 extra-innings win.