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Brandon Nimmo's 'small' hamstring tweak becomes bigger

New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo reacts

New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo reacts after he strikes out to end the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds in an MLB baseball game at Citi Field on Friday, July 30, 2021. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

What was suggested as "really, really small" on Friday night has turned into something quite a bit larger for the Mets.

Manager Luis Rojas said that Brandon Nimmo had felt a "pinch" in his left hamstring after making a diving catch on Aristides Aquino's fly in the ninth inning of Friday’s loss to Cincinnati that was "really, really small" but troublesome enough that he would have used a pinch hitter had Nimmo come to bat.

Saturday, Nimmo wasn’t available at all in the Mets' 5-4 extra-inning victory and Rojas isn't certain about his status for Sunday either.

"We’re going to be cautious with him," Rojas said. "There’s different things we don’t want him doing like getting out of the box and all those things where he’s going to push off."

 

Jonathan Villar was slotted into the leadoff sport and Kevin Pillar started the game in centerfield.

Nimmo has posted a .298/.427/.411 slash line in 45 games, though he missed approximately two months with a hand injury.

When Nimmo is in the starting lineup, the Mets are 23-18.

Diaz in the zone

Edwin Diaz has shaken off a run of three straight blown saves with an eight-day run that’s included converting four straight and getting Saturday night’s win.

He entered in the 10th inning after Dom Smith tied the game at 4 with a two-out run-scoring single in the ninth. A walk and a wild pitch put runners at the corners with none out, but Diaz escaped.

He struck out Kyle Farmer and Joey Votto and got an inning-ending flyout from Tyler Naquin.

"That's the guy for a situation like that," Rojas said. He’s a strikeout pitcher — he can do exactly what he did: two strikeouts and then the fly out . . . It was outstanding and he gave us the chance to win there."

Williams sent to Syracuse

The Mets also received righthander Trevor Williams along with Javier Baez in the Friday trade with the Cubs. The club sent him to Triple-A Syracuse, but when asked when he might join the big-league team, Rojas said the timing is "speculation."

Williams made 12 starts among his 13 appearances with the Cubs and was 4-2 with a 5.06 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings. Rojas said the 29-year-old is most valuable to the team if he remains stretched out as a starter.

On Saturday he allowed two runs over six innings with six strikeouts and threw 95 pitches for the Syracuse Mets.

"If we’re in need at some point for a starter, he should be the guy coming up to help us in a spot," Rojas said. "Is there a chance he comes to the bullpen to become a length guy? Yes he could, but that would disrupt where he is right now pitch count-wise. It’s more valuable to keep him pitching like a starter.

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