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Bartolo Colon leaves Mets game with right thumb contusion

This is not what the Mets needed .

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Mets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Bartolo Colon left Tuesday night’s game against the Royals after Whit Merrifield hit a liner up the middle that struck Colon in the hand. Colon immediately reacted when the ball missed his glove and hit him in his pitching hand. He had only thrown four pitches and promptly left the game. X-rays came back negative and the injury is being called a right thumb contusion.

Hansel Robles was pressed into service instead of Noah Syndergaard, who originally had the start for tonight’s game, but was given an extra day of rest by Terry Collins. Sean Gilmartin was also not an option despite getting the call-up today. Gilmartin had thrown 100 pitches in a game for the Las Vegas 51s on Saturday.

Colon has been an important piece for this rotation and has a 4-3 record and a very respectable 3.00 ERA. This is all the more impressive considering Colon celebrated his 43rd birthday in May.

The Mets can ill afford another injury to a key player on their roster, especially in their rotation. Zack Wheeler had a setback during his rehab back from Tommy John surgery, and Steven Matz experienced some soreness during his last start against the Braves. Logan Verrett has gotten a few spot starts this year but has not pitched well in his last few outings in the majors.