SAN DIEGO – Pete Alonso (hit by pitch on right hand) and Starling Marte (quad tightness) left with alarming injuries in the second inning of the Mets’ 7-0 loss against the Padres on Tuesday at Petco Park.
Both Alonso and Marte left Petco Park for late-night MRIs following the loss, according to a Mets spokesman, making them unavailable to speak about their injuries. But Mets manager Buck Showalter indicated both would go for MRIs on Wednesday.
When asked if, in a best-case scenario, Alonso and Marte will need to miss just a couple of games, Showalter said: “I love your optimism but I don’t share it at this point.” The manager did not say whether he thinks both will need to be placed on the injured list.
Alonso was hit on the right hand by a 95-mph fastball from Yu Darvish to lead off the top of the second inning. The Mets slugger immediately fell to the ground in pain. After a trainer checked on Alonso’s hand, the Mets decided to take the first baseman out of the game. Alonso went into the tunnel to get X-rays, which later came back negative for a fracture on his right hand.
Though it appears Alonso dodged a bullet by avoiding any broken bones in the initial imaging, the severity of his injury remains unclear. Showalter said Alonso didn’t ask to stay in the game, because he couldn’t grip the bat after the hit by pitch. Alonso’s MRI will be telling of how much time, if any, he will need to miss.
“Just want to be sure,” Showalter said. “We know what X-rays don’t always reveal.”
Marte was diagnosed with left quad tightness. He was in obvious discomfort after he was caught stealing second base to end the top of the first inning. The outfielder grabbed his left quad after he slid into second. A small huddle consisting of Showalter, Eduardo Escobar, a trainer and others formed around Marte in between innings, but Marte wanted to play so he gingerly jogged to right field.
The right fielder completed the bottom of the first inning – no balls were hit to him – but he struggled to run off the field after the frame was over. Showalter said Marte initially thought he was just dealing with a cramp, but the pain never really subsided. Marte came out of the game after the second inning.
JD Davis replaced Alonso at first base and Mark Canha took over for Marte in right field. Backup catcher Tomas Nido became the last man on the bench for the Mets as early as the second inning. Infielder Gosuke Katoh and catcher Nick Dini are the only position players on the Mets’ taxi squad. It is likely the front office will need to make a transaction or two ahead of Wednesday’s series finale at Petco Park.
“I don’t think bind is the word I’d use,” Showalter said of the Mets’ challenging situation without Alonso and Marte. “It may appear that way. I look at it as a way for somebody else to shine like we have all year. Our front office has been ahead of the game keeping us equipped to compete and we’ll continue to do that. Obviously losing those two guys that quickly took a little air out of you.”
Darvish hit three of the first five Mets batters in Tuesday’s start. Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil were also hit by pitches in the first and second inning, respectively, though both were able to stay in the game. Afterwards, Davish settled down to carry a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Mark Canha became the first Met to collect a hit off the right-hander with two outs in that frame by ripping a single to left. Darvish only gave up two hits across his seven shutout innings.
The Mets have been hit by 40 pitches this season, which leads the major leagues.
Taijuan Walker struggled through his first couple of innings against the Padres on Tuesday, but he soon found his groove and threw six innings on 103 pitches. Walker allowed a home run to his first batter of the night, Jurickson Profar. Then he surrendered four more hits in the second, the damage coming on an RBI single to Trent Grisham and a two-run single to Jake Cronenworth.
Walker struck out Manny Machado to end the second inning and went on to retire seven batters in a row. He didn’t allow another hit for the remainder of his outing, while striking out four, in his ninth start of the year.
“I was happy with the way I finished,” Walker said. “Kept us in it, just enough. They have a good team over there. Yu was on his stuff tonight. It’s just one of those games.”
But the Mets (38-20) offense went ice cold against just two San Diego arms. Mets hitters collected only two hits across the full nine innings in the second game of a three-game set at Petco Park. Tuesday was just their second shutout loss of the season. They will look to bounce back and take the rubber match against southpaw Sean Manaea (2-3, 3.77 ERA) on Wednesday, with right-hander Chris Bassitt (4-3, 3.74 ERA) taking the hill for the Mets.