The Mets actually scored two runs against Colorado in the first inning on Sunday at Citi Field, claiming their first lead since the previous Sunday. Yoenis Cespedes was in the midst of it, lining a single to center and later scoring the second run.
Then Cespedes didn’t come out for the top of the second. Brandon Nimmo was sent to leftfield.
“I was just hoping . . . it was more of a precaution rather than he really did something,” Nimmo said.
Indeed, after a 3-2 loss to the Rockies capped an 0-6 home stand for the Mets, Cespedes said via an interpreter that he was behind the departure and it was “a precaution.”
During the game, the Mets announced that Cespedes left because of tightness in his right hip. After the game, Mickey Callaway said Cespedes was “a little sore in his hip, groin area,” although the manager hadn’t spoken to Cespedes after he came out and hadn’t spoken again to the training staff.
Then Cespedes said the issue was his right quadriceps, and that he first felt something Saturday night. “Yesterday when I hit the ground ball to a double play, I felt my quad tight,” he said. “And today I warmed up, but I felt [it again].”
Cespedes didn’t hit into a double play in that game, so he must have meant when he bounced into a forceout at second and beat the relay throw to first in the eighth. He followed that up with a steal.
But Callaway spoke only of Sunday, saying, “He was a little sore by the time he got on first, and he was kind of hitting at it. We noticed. And he went first to third, and I think it got a little more sore.”
The 32-year-old Cuban star has had his share of leg injuries, especially last season, when he played in only 81 games. Cespedes had problems with the right quadriceps in both 2016 and 2017.
“This time it was different than years before,” he said. “I just made the decision as a precaution to avoid any serious injuries.”
The Mets’ lineup has mostly struggled of late. Cespedes leads the team with seven home runs and 26 RBIs.
“We’d rather miss him for two days rather than two weeks,” Nimmo said. “Obviously, you [media] guys all know the impact he has on this team. He’s a great hitter and a force in the lineup. So we obviously want him in there.”
Cespedes was out of there during the third inning the previous Sunday in San Diego after hurting his left thumb on a headfirst slide into third, but he didn’t miss a game. He has played in all 32 this season.
Todd Frazier said he’s very concerned “when anybody has to come out, especially a big dog like that . . . But hopefully he can bounce back quick.”
Asked if he will play Monday night in Cincinnati, Cespedes answered in English instead of Spanish.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe.”