Jeff McNeil wasn’t just playing possum when he stopped short of second base Tuesday night.
He exited in the fourth inning of the Mets’ 3-2 win against the Orioles with what the team called "body cramps." Manager Luis Rojas said McNeil seemed fine after hydrating, but he will be re-evaluated Wednesday.
Albert Almora Jr. similarly seems to have avoided the worst after a high-speed collision with the centerfield wall in the eighth inning. X-rays on his neck were negative, according to Rojas, but his shoulder hurt and he will receive more tests Wednesday.
"We’ve been limited with our extra players," said Rojas, whose team already is missing Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis and Luis Guillorme with injuries.
McNeil’s issue happened first. As he tried to stretch his single into a double in the bottom of the third, he pulled up well short of the base, after it became clear he would be tagged out. Jose Peraza replaced him at second base in the top of the fourth.
Rojas said McNeil felt the cramps in his legs initially, then in his back.
"He felt cramping first in his legs, then he shut it down, he didn’t want to push it," Rojas said. "He thought he could’ve pulled something. So we didn’t get to that point . . . Right now, he feels like he dodged a bullet by [stopping]."
The Almora situation was much scarier, Rojas said. As he chased Austin Hays’ triple, Almora’s all-out sprint became a jump. He caught the ball but his impact with the wall jarred it loose.
He remained on the ground for a few minutes before leaving under his own power.
"Just watching it and going out there, seeing him face down, a little blood in our trainer’s hand, Joe Golia," Rojas said. "My level of concern was really high at that point. But he got up by himself. He wanted to stay in the game. He wanted to stay. He tried to push, but there was no way after that collision with the wall."
Almora felt well enough to fire off a tweet after the Mets’ walk-off win.
"I caught it . . . " he wrote.