On Wednesday, with the San Francisco Giants leading the New York Mets 9-1, a tense situation developed in the bottom of the third inning.
At Oracle Park, Jeff McNeil made a spectacular sliding catch along the left field line, but it cost him a terrifying collision. McNeil was initially startled when he slammed his knee and face into the left-side wall.
The flying squirrel was able to walk it off after being examined by the medical staff, and he displayed his tenacity by playing to the end of the inning. He was taken out of the game after the inning with what the Mets are describing as a left knee contusion.
Fortunately, it appears that McNeil escaped the worst after striking the wall incredibly hard. The Mets decided to remove him from the game out of caution after falling behind by eight runs.
Manager Buck Showalter reported that McNeil was exempt from the concussion protocol.
He probably could have played, but Showalter said, “I didn’t want to take the chance.”
“We’ll see, but I think we’re doing okay right now. It happens on a daily basis.”
Additionally, McNeil attested to his overall well-being.
“That’s kind of who I am. It’s how I’ve played for my whole life,” McNeil said of his diving play with his team down 9-1. “I don’t think I’m ever going to stop playing hard. I’m going to go all out and keep making those plays.
McNeil will have an additional day to rest his knee tomorrow since the Mets will be off on Thursday before starting a weekend series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.
Given that McNeil has been among their best hitters this year, the Mets cannot afford to lose him to injury. After making a tough play in a rout, the 30-year-old seems to have escaped harm for the time being.