NEW YORK - Terry Collins spoke for a little less than six minutes and said more than 700 words late Wednesday afternoon, shortly after the New York Mets completed a two-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals with a 4-3 win at Citi Field.
Then, after stepping away from the podium, Collins returned and spent four seconds uttering 21 words that completely overshadowed anything he'd said earlier.
"Noah Syndergaard is seeing a doctor," said Collins, who spoke after a brief consultation with Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz. "His elbow flared up on him. That's why I took him out of the game."
Now the Mets must wait to find out if the elbow was the reason for Syndergaard's subpar start - by his standards, anyway. The long-haired right-hander improved to 8-2 after allowing three runs on a season-high eight hits with no walks and four strikeouts over six innings. He gave up more than two runs for just the third time in 14 starts and struck out fewer than five batters for the second time.
This is the second known elbow scare of the season for Syndergaard, who also visited with doctors in late April. Teammates said they didn't know about Wednesday's issue until they returned to the locker room after the game.
"I did not (know), I'll be honest," catcher Rene Rivera said. "So we'll see what happens and see what's going on."
"I just heard about five minutes ago," second baseman Neil Walker said.
Syndergaard's visit to the doctor was just the latest in a spate of potentially worrisome injury news for the Mets, who have four players on the disabled list - including starting third baseman David Wright and first baseman Lucas Duda. Catcher Travis d'Arnaud just returned from the disabled list following a nearly two-month stint on the shelf.
Right-hander Bartolo Colon left his start Tuesday after just one out when he was hit on the right thumb by a line drive, though he is expected to make his next start Sunday.
Center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, who leads the Mets with a .290 average, 18 homers and 44 RBIs, left in the fifth inning Wednesday due to left wrist discomfort. He also visited team doctors following the game.
"I'm certainly concerned about it," Collins said. "Anytime, when you're a hitter and you're a big hitter and your hands and your wrists have problems, it's a concern."
In addition, right-hander Zack Wheeler, who underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2015, was scheduled to visit with doctors Wednesday after he experienced some soreness while preparing for a rehab stint.
"We've just got to keep grinding, we've got to go with what we have," Walker said.
The Syndergaard news dwarfed a memorable day for shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who slid around the tag of Royals catcher Salvador Perez to score on a single by James Loney in the fourth inning before he hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning. Left fielder Matt Reynolds also enjoyed an impressive performance as his first major league homer snapped a 3-3 tie in the sixth.
"It's not ideal to have players go down every single day," Reynolds said. "But we've got a strong group of guys in here that never stop."
Jerry Blevins, Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia (24th save) combined to allow one hit over the final three innings as the Mets (38-32) ensured they'd remain in second place in the National League wild-card standings.
Alcides Escobar and Jarrod Dyson had two hits apiece while Dyson added a stolen base as the Royals (38-33) fell 2 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central, pending the Indians' game later on Wednesday.
The Royals took a 2-1 lead in the fifth via a solo homer by Cheslor Cuthbert and an RBI single by Whit Merrifield and tied the game on Paulo Orlando's RBI single in the sixth.
"It does usually work out for us," Royals manager Ned Yost said of being in a tie game in the sixth inning. "But they threw some good pitchers at us, too."
Left-hander Danny Duffy allowed three runs on four hits and four walks while striking out eight over 4 2/3 innings. Right-hander Joakim Soria took the loss after giving up Reynolds' homer.
"When you are playing good teams, they have a bat and they can make some damage," Soria said. "And that's what happened."
NOTES: The Mets recalled RHP Logan Verrett from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned INF Ty Kelly to the same affiliate. Verrett provides an extra bullpen arm for the Mets, who got 8 2/3 innings out of relievers after Colon took a line drive off his right thumb in Tuesday's2-1 win, as well as insurance for Colon, who is expected to make his next start as scheduled Sunday. ... Royals LF Alex Gordon (wrist) was scheduled to play his fourth rehab game for Double-A Arkansas on Wednesday. ... The Royals are the third reigning World Series champion team to play in the stadium in which it won the title the previous season. The 2001 New York Yankees visited the Mets at Shea Stadium while the 2005 Boston Red Sox played the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.