PHILADELPHIA -- When Brandon Nimmo hit the dirt, his first thought -- "Ah, crud," was the phrase that flashed through his mind -- was that something felt broken. In clear pain, Nimmo crumpled to the ground and stayed there for several moments, before eventually rising to his feet.
In that fashion, Nimmo's career-best on-base streak came to a painful end in the third inning Thursday, when a Ranger Suarez fastball hit him on the left hand as he tried to check his swing. Striking Nimmo's left index finger just above the first knuckle, the ball trickled into fair territory, where Maikel Franco turned it into an inning-ending groundout.
X-rays were negative, though Nimmo plans to see a hand specialist Friday for an MRI to make certain that nothing is amiss.
Jose Bautista replaced Nimmo in right field. Bautista launched a grand slam, driving in seven runs during their 24-4 rout against the Phillies.
"It definitely was a lot of pain," Nimmo said. "I was really hoping in the moment that it wasn't broken, but I was like, 'Man, it hit straight on. I don't know how this is going to turn out.' I'm very fortunate that this isn't more serious as of now."
One of the few consistent bright spots of the Mets' season, Nimmo was batting .265 with 15 home runs and an .890 OPS at the time of his injury. He reached base safely in 10 consecutive plate appearances from Tuesday through Thursday, the Mets' longest streak since Benny Agbayani also reached in 10 straight PAs in 2000. But that streak came to an end when umpires ruled that the pitch that hit him was a live ball, despite the fact that it struck his hand and not his bat.
"That was unfortunate," Nimmo said. "That was kind of adding insult to injury."
Nimmo had a hot streak cut short earlier this season in similar fashion, when a fastball bruised his right pinkie, thrusting him into a 1-for-20 slump. Nimmo later admitted that the sore digit was likely the reason for his struggles.
Only recently had he broken out of that funk, going a career-best 5-for-5 Wednesday against the Orioles, then adding a single in his first at-bat Thursday in Philadelphia.
"I guess it's a good learning experience from last time of what I'm looking for as far as feel and strength in my hand," Nimmo said of his previous injury. "We'll try and be a little more diligent on this one about coming back the right way."