Mets get star slugger back after bizarre scratch vs. Nationals

Jul 3, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets designated hitter J.D. Martinez (28) sprints to first base after a base hit against the Washington Nationals  during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets did not have to bear long without their star slugger J.D. Martinez after his bizarre one-game absence from the lineup.

Martinez was scratched from the order on Tuesday with left ankle soreness. He sat out of the Mets’ 7-2 win over the Washington Nationals due to a pair of cleats bothering his feet.

Per Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Nova Southeastern University product stated after the victory that he was patiently waiting for his customary cleats and had to wear a different pair that did not do service to his feet:

“To be quite frank I haven’t gotten my new shipment of cleats in and had to try a new cleat [Monday],” the veteran DH said after the Mets beat the Nationals 7-2 in 10 innings. “I felt great and then I woke up today and my ankle was sore.” 

Mets: J.D. Martinez’s absence interrupted impressive streak of time on the field

Jun 17, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; New York Mets designated hitter J.D. Martinez (28) follows through on his single against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The absence was a rarity for Martinez, who has played in 56 games this season after missing the beginning of the year due to a back ailment. Having only missed their 7-3 win over the Miami Marlins on May 19 since returning, Martinez’s DNP against the Nats marked only his second missed game since he made his debut on April 26.

Thankfully for the Mets, they got their standout performer back on Wednesday in the third game of their series against Washington. Martinez went 1-4 on the affair which the Mets lost by a score of 7-5. The former 2018 World Series Champion now has 10 hits in as many games for New York.

The Mets are hoping Martinez can carry over hot play from June into the crucial stretch of the year

Jun 16, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets designated hitter J.D. Martinez (28) hits a single against the San Diego Padres during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The reigning All-Star has done his part to tip the scales for the Mets in the win column. Over the course of their rampant month of June, Martinez hit .272 with four home runs and an impressive 20 RBIs across 24 games played. Driving in almost one runner per game cannot be understated.

The Mets were able to storm back from an 0-2 deficit in at the bottom of the fifth inning to take the game against Washington in extra innings on Tuesday, but fell short with Martinez back in action on Wednesday. If they want to continue to close the gap in the National League and NL East standings, they’ll need the former three-time Silver Slugger award winner to avoid strange mishaps like what transpired earlier this week.

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