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The negative x-ray of Francisco Lindor of the Mets after diving

WASHINGTON — Francisco Lindor is fine.

Lindor wanted to check if one of his teeth was still whole, and he had a bruise on his chin, but he also may have had a new outlook on life and the Mets after being hit by a pitch in the fifth inning of a 7-3 win at the Nationals on Friday night.

Lindor was square to bunt when an 88-mph fastball from Washington pitcher Steve Cishek carried to the shortstop’s face. Lindor said afterwards that he believed the bullet hit the flap of his helmet and he collapsed into the dirt as a war of words erupted around him.

“He’s lucky,” manager Buck Showalter said of Lindor. X-rays were negative and he passed a concussion test.

Lindor said he thinks he can play on Saturday, which would make him the second Mets star to get hit in the helmet this season and start the next day.

On Thursday, 24-year-old right-hander Mason Thompson pierced Pete Alonso with a slider that grazed the first baseman’s shoulder and hit the flap of his helmet. The Mets were angry that four batters were hit by pitches in the first 14 innings of the season (James McCann was hit twice Thursday), and they showed it as Lindor was sprawled on the dirt.

Franciso Lindor is escorted off the field after being hit by a pitch during the Mets’ 7-3 win over the Nationals.
Corey Sipkins

Lindor said he was “proud” to be a Met after the bench clearance fight.

“Thank God I’m fine,” said Lindor, who was replaced by Luis Guillorme. “I don’t have a headache at the moment, I feel good. I think one of my teeth might be cracked, but I can still smile.

Lindor came out feeling pretty good and delighted with his teammates. Jeff McNeil said this type of incident can “absolutely” bring a team together.

“Everyone on this team supports each other, you saw that today,” said McNeil, who homered and had an RBI single. “It’s good to have the whole team there. I think it’s a good group of guys, very tight-knit.

Edwin Diaz’s grandfather died on Friday, Showalter reported. The closest is heading to Puerto Rico and will be placed on the mourners list and “take all the time he needs,” Showalter said.

The Mets are intentionally packed with position players, who should cover them if and when injuries strike. Until then, however, Dominic Smith is one of the first victims of the clutter.

Smith was out of the starting lineup against right-hander Josiah Gray. Robinson Cano, who had a strong first game, got the go-ahead designated hitter, while Alonso was on first base and Mark Canha moved to left field with Brandon Nimmo available to play center field.

Smith sitting Game 1 against southpaw Patrick Corbin made sense. Early in the season at least, it looks like Cano and Smith are getting some game time.

Showalter reported that Smith, who the Post reported was nearly dealt to the Padres last week, would start soon.

“We plotted it. We’re going to take full advantage of Smitty’s skills,” the manager said before Cano made it 1 for 4 with a two-run single. “We’re not going to leave anyone there [in the clubhouse] which we think can really impact us.

Smith hit for Cano in the ninth and was struck out.

Nimmo made his season debut, going 2-for-5 with a triple, after sitting out Thursday with a stiff neck. Nimmo said his neck was “98%”.

Wide receiver Tomas Nido also made his season debut, but not because James McCann had been hit twice the previous night. McCann said he was fine after being hit in the back and right foot.

New York Post

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