WASHINGTON — Just as the Mets’ hitters started to hit, they lost their best one: Brandon Nimmo.
Nimmo suffered a "mild" strained right hamstring Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader against the Nationals, he said, a serious enough issue that the Mets put him on the injured list before the second game. Infielder Travis Blankenhorn was called up to take his roster spot.
Although he was "extremely frustrated," Nimmo was heartened by an MRI providing good news. He said he believes he will play again this season.
"I’m hoping that this is not the end," he said, acknowledging that injuries of this nature are "tricky. I’m not going to guarantee anything. But in my heart of hearts, I really do think I’m going to be back this season."
Manager Luis Rojas said: "We gotta see how he responds. This is a guy that takes a lot of care of himself. He’s one of the first guys to the field. He’s one of the last guys leaving because of how much he does to keep himself out there playing."
Nimmo got hurt rounding third base in the second inning. Albert Almora Jr. replaced him in centerfield in the bottom of the inning and Kevin Pillar got the start in the nightcap.
"Immediately, he was frustrated," Rojas said.
Usually the leadoff hitter, Nimmo recently had settled into the No. 2 spot — with Jonathan Villar at the top — during the Mets’ hot streak. "It’s been really good," Nimmo said. "The results speak for themselves."
Nimmo has been the team’s best hitter this year — when he has been healthy. He previously missed about two months with a hand injury. If he had enough plate appearances to qualify, he would rank second in the majors with a .420 OBP. He also leads Mets regulars with a .302 average and has an .835 OPS.
"Sometimes guys who are disciplined like he is and work as hard as he works bounce back quickly," Rojas said. "Let’s see what [happens] in this case.’’
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