WASHINGTON, D.C. — Curtis Granderson was not in the lineup Monday for the second straight game because of tightness in his right hip. Even with hip issue, he hit a pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth of the Mets’ 3-2 loss to the Nationals, and he’s hopeful he’ll be able to play in today’s 11 a.m. game.
So with Yoenis Cespedes likely out after having his right hamstring cramp up trying to make a sliding catch at the end of the Monday’s loss, the Mets, who came into the season with five outfielders, could be shorthanded.
With Granderson, Jay Bruce and Brandon Nimmo, the Mets have three outfielders. Juan Lagares and Michael Conforto are on the disabled list and Cespedes is banged up again.
“He’s going to have to be in there,” Mets manager Terry Collins said of Granderson.
Granderson said the hip felt better, but he would have to wait until today to see if he could play.
“I’ll get here early, try to get it as warm as we can. Good thing with it being an earlier game and the weather being the way it’s supposed to be, it could help out,” Granderson said. “I am optimistic I should be able to get in there.”
The Mets would have to go to an emergency outfielder like Matt Reynolds if both Cespedes and Granderson are unavailable. Reynolds has played a total of 6.2 innings as an outfielder in the majors. He’s played 15 innings in the outfield at Triple-A.
Granderson was uncertain he would be able to do more than hit Monday night.
“I was just hopeful it would get out,” Granderson said of his homer. “I wasn’t sure what I would be able to do in terms of extra bases or anything like that.”
With such a crucial series, the Mets really could use Granderson’s bat.
Since May 15, Granderson is hitting .328 with 22 extra-base hits and 25 RBI.
“Grandy is probably more frustrated than anything right now. He’s been playing so well and now, when we really, really need him bad, this,” Collins said. “That’s why he said to me, look I think I’ll be ready for tomorrow.”
Collins said he was surprised that Bruce was not named an All-Star when MLB announced them Sunday night. The Mets are sending just one player, Conforto, to the Midsummer Classic. Conforto is currently on the disabled list but is expected to come back for the next series and wants to go to the All-Star Game.
“I was a little surprised,” Collins said of the Mets getting just one All-Star nod. “I thought Jay would certainly be a viable candidate, possibly Jake (deGrom). Again, I don’t know all the voting times, when votes came in. When Jake went through his two or three starts where he struggled, that might have been right in the middle when fans were picking.
“I thought (lefty reliever Jerry Blevins) had an outside shot.”
Conforto is fifth in the National League with a .405 on-base percentage and ninth with a .953 OPS. He is batting .285 with 14 doubles, a career-high 14 homers, 41 RBI and 47 runs scored. He was selected for his first All-Star appearance on the players’ ballot.
Bruce’s 20 home runs were the sixth most in the National league and his 55 RBI were the 13th most in the league. He had reached base in 68 of his 76 games this season.