The quest to get over .500 was overshadowed by an unwelcome but familiar visitor.
Jose Reyes and Daniel Murphy left Sunday’s 6-5 loss to the Braves with leg injuries that will almost certainly keep them out of the lineup for the start of a four-game series against San Diego today if not longer.
General Manager Sandy Alderson told reporters in an impromptu press conference in the hallway outside the Mets clubhouse after the game that Reyes suffered “a mild pull of his left hamstring,” while Murphy’s knee “was very definitely involved,” on a play in the top of the seventh in which Atlanta left fielder Jose Constanza spiked the Mets’ infielder on a play at second base. Replays showed that Murphy’s knee buckled. He had to be helped off the field.
Murphy underwent an X-ray at Citi Field “that was negative for any fractures,” according to Alderson. Murphy, like Reyes, was sent to The Hospital for Special Surgery for a MRI. Neither player was available for comment after the game.
“I was sick to my stomach for Murph. When you go out there and listen to what he had to say, he seemed to think he was hurt pretty severely,” Collins said about Murphy. He did note that Reyes’ injury “came up suddenly.”
Reyes re-injured the same hamstring he hurt against the Yankees last month. Reyes was placed on the 15-day DL after a diagnosed revealed a Grade-1 hamstring strain.
The injury will reignite the debate over Reyes’s value. The free-agent shortstop is hitting .337 this season with 80 runs scored, 34 stolen bases and 37 RBI in 97 games. Reyes ranks first the National League in batting average and runs scored, and is second in steals.
But his injury history could hinder his payday. Reyes has been put on the DL five times in his career, which prompted Mets owner Fred Wilpon’s now infamous comments to New Yorker Magazine.
“He thinks he’s going to get Carl Crawford money,” Wilpon told writer Jeffrey Toobin in the May 30 issue. “He’s had everything wrong with him. He won’t get it.”
Crawford signed a seven-year, $142 million deal with the Red Sox during the offseason. But he has disappointed in his first year in Boston, only hitting .254 with 45 runs scored, 38 RBI and 13 steals in 85 games.
Murphy, one of Collins's favorites, is fifth in the National League in hitting with a .318 average. He has scored 49 runs, driven in 48 and hit six home runs while alternating between first, second, third and left field.
The losses of Reyes and Murphy complete a four-day stretch in which the Mets learned that Johan Santana and Ike Davis won’t be in uniform anytime soon.
The Mets announced Thursday that Santana “was diagnosed with fatigue of the left shoulder,” and the determination was made that he not throw until “his shoulder is at full strength.” Sandy Alderson told reporters Friday that Davis will rest his left ankle for the remainder of the month. The first baseman’s ankle will be examined by doctors in early September to see how recovery is progressing.
Dependent on the findings, it is possible that microfracture surgery could be recommended.
Davis was having a strong offensive season before injuring the ankle in an infield collision with David Wright during the Mets’ 4-3 win over the Rockies at Coors Field on May 10. He has not played since. Davis had a .302 batting average, 25 RBI, 20 runs scored and slugged seven home runs in 36 games.
Alderson announced that Ruben Tejada will be called up from Triple-A Buffalo as a corresponding roster move.
Follow Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.