Michael Conforto didn’t think much of the soreness in his right thumb. To the Mets outfielder, such bumps and bruises are the cost of doing business, the residual effect of honing a swing that has produced 27 homers thus far in an All-Star season.
But when he arrived at Citi Field on Tuesday, he was surprised to learn that he was scratched from the lineup before the Mets’ 7-4 loss to the Diamondbacks.
“It’s just an overuse, inflammation, type thing,” said Conforto, who has been playing through the issue with no problem.
Of course, it makes little sense for the Mets to take risks with Conforto, who has emerged as arguably their most important player. Conforto expects to be back in the lineup after X-rays came back negative. “There’s just no sense of pushing it to where we could make it worse to where it leads to several days,” manager Terry Collins said.
Without Conforto, the Mets (54-70) lost for the eighth time in their last nine games. Since the All-Star break, they are 15-23. And for the first time since 2013, they are 16 games under the .500 mark.
Pitching for the first time since a knee injury sidelined him in May, lefthander Tommy Milone allowed six runs (five earned) in just 4 2⁄3 innings. His ERA rose to 8.12, after allowing a three-run shot to J.D. Martinez and a solo shot to Adam Rosales.
Arizona lefty Patrick Corbin allowed only a solo shot by Amed Rosario in eight strong innings. It was the rookie’s third homer in the big leagues. He later tripled home a run as part of a three-run ninth. “I’ve just matured a little bit in general since being up here,” Rosario said through a translator.
In relief of Milone, Kevin McGowan allowed one run in 1 1⁄3 innings during his big-league debut. The righthander was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier in the day when the Mets officially moved Steven Matz to the disabled list.
Rookie Dominic Smith was held out of the starting lineup against Corbin, but in the ninth, he delivered a pinch-hit double to knock in a run.