On Baseball: Pitching Woes Threaten Foundation of the Mets’ Hopes

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Mets starter Noah Syndergaard lasted just three innings against the Nationals on Monday, blowing a four-run lead.

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Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Pitching is the bedrock of the Mets’ championship hopes. The ground shook below them before Monday’s game, then crumbled during it. More nights like this will swallow up the season.

Maybe it won’t be as bad as all that. But the Mets began a pivotal stretch of their schedule in about the most discouraging way possible. A young starter who did not pitch, Steven Matz, was found to have a bone spur in his tight left elbow. A young starter who did, Noah Syndergaard, lasted just three innings, allowed five stolen bases and blew a four-run lead.

The Washington Nationals kept on punching in an 11-4 victory that dropped the Mets to third place in their division. The Mets, who face winning teams in 22 of their next 25 games, had their pick of which pitcher’s plight was more troubling.

Syndergaard said his elbow felt fine — he denied reports of his own bone spur — but it was concerning to Manager Terry Collins….

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