Syndergaard would theoretically only be unavailable if the Mets need to win Sunday to secure a Wild Card berth, though manager Terry Collins is considering another scenario as well: If the Mets clinch a Wild Card berth on Friday or Saturday but could claim home-field advantage with a win on Sunday, Collins may turn to Syndergaard in that game. That would give the Mets the best chance of hosting the Wild Card Game at Citi Field, but it would also make Syndergaard unavailable for the win-or-go-home contest itself.
"Do we use Syndergaard? Or do we say, 'Hey look, he's going to pitch the playoff game no matter where it's at?'" Collins said. "That's going to be, I think, the ultimately tough decision.
"For sure, you play in front of our fans. It's an advantage. They're exciting. They are loud. They get after it in the stands. I think it would be great to play at home. But when that decision comes, it's going to be a tough decision to make because we want to go as far as we can. And if it means saving him to get us to the next round, we've got to certainly consider it."
It will be a last-minute decision for the Mets, who plan to use Syndergaard in some capacity this weekend regardless of where they stand. If they have already clinched, the Mets will give Syndergaard a brief tune-up on Sunday in advance of the Wild Card Game, limiting him to around 25 pitches.
Collins' more pressing decision revolves around Colon, who is currently lined up to start Saturday -- a potential clincher for the Mets. Pushing Colon forward to Friday's start makes sense for the Mets' long-term schedule, but it also requires the Mets to ask the oldest pitcher in the Majors, who is currently dealing with a sore calf muscle, to start on short rest. Colon did so earlier this year for the first time since 2005, allowing five runs in five innings. He was not coming off such a low pitch count in that game.
For the Mets, all those decisions will come this week. They are byproducts of a much bigger issue.
"Right now, we're full-bore just trying to get in," Collins said. "That's first and foremost on our minds. These next four days, we take care of business."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.