Brandon Nimmo still isn’t sure what caused his recent right-hip stiffness, but a cortisone shot later, he returned to the Mets’ starting lineup Wednesday.
The hip first started bothering Nimmo when the Mets were playing at Colorado on April 18 and caused him to miss a road start against the Cubs last week. After receiving an MRI exam, Nimmo decided on Monday to get the shot, which kept him from starting against the Red Sox on Tuesday.
Nimmo said the pain was sharp enough at one point last week that he had difficulty rolling over in bed. The mechanism of the injury remains a mystery.
“I just remember coming in from left field [in Colorado] and feeling a sharp pain in my right hip and thinking it was just part of baseball,” Nimmo said before the Mets’ 1-0 loss to the Red Sox, in which he finished 0-for-3 with a walk. “I figured it would get better over the off day and it didn’t, and I went in the next day and we tried to do the best that we could with it. We tried to play through it and it got worse after that … and so we have been trying to work on it.”
Nimmo said he isn’t concerned about a long-term effect because he had similar discomfort in his left hip in 2018 and the matter resolved itself after receiving a cortisone shot and rehabbing.
“Hopefully this is just something that it got in the wrong position, whatever it might be, and we can just deal with it this one time,” Nimmo said. “We are hopeful it’s just like the one in 2018 where it kind of popped up for a couple of weeks and we haven’t heard from it since.”
Jacob deGrom’s nine strikeouts gave him 59 through his first five starts of the season. That matches Nolan Ryan’s record for the most through five appearances to begin a season, since 1893. DeGrom’s 0.51 ERA is the lowest through five starts in Mets history.
Jeurys Familia’s strong start to the season is among the best signs to have emerged from a bullpen that entered play 15th in the major leagues with a 4.06 ERA. The veteran Familia has a 1.59 ERA in six appearances, including a 4 ²/₃ inning scoreless streak dating to April 10.
“He is throwing more strikes,” manager Luis Rojas said. “That is the big thing for him. If he throws the ball over the plate, he is going to have a really good year. The stuff is electric and his splitter has gotten better and his slider has gotten better, but the key for him is to throw strikes and induce contact.
“I’ve got a good feeling about Familia this year. He’s worked really hard, he’s in a real good physical condition right now.”
The Mets claimed catcher Deivy Grullon off waivers from the Rays and optioned him to the alternate site. Grullon, 25, hit .283 with 21 homers and 77 RBIs in 108 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2019.
DeGrom’s five-game hitting streak, which ended with an 0-for-2 night, was the longest by a Mets pitcher since Mike Hampton in 2000.
Jerry Koosman’s six-game hitting streak in 1974-75 established a franchise record for a pitcher.