WASHINGTON -- Optimism turned to realism about an hour before game time Wednesday at Nationals Park, where the Mets scratched outfielder Curtis Granderson from the starting lineup due to a sore right calf. Granderson had departed Tuesday's game after a fourth-inning rain delay for the same reason.
A day later, Granderson spent significant time in the training room, where team staff members heavily taped his leg. He tested it during batting practice, and was in the Mets' original lineup. But about an hour before first pitch, the Mets demurred, moving Alejandro De Aza from left to right field and starting Brandon Nimmo in left.
Granderson singled as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning Wednesday off Oliver Perez in the Mets' 4-2 loss to the Nationals.
"When I started the day in batting practice, I thought everything was going to be good to go," Granderson said after Wednesday's game. "But then as we started moving around more in the outfield, shagging fly balls, coming in to hit, things like that, it just started to become more noticeable than it was at the start of the day."
Granderson, 35, is batting .225 with 13 homers in 74 games this season, shaving 43 points off last year's .364 on-base percentage. Though he cannot pinpoint the exact genesis of his leg injury, Granderson believes it began bothering him during Saturday's game in Atlanta. Manager Terry Collins has referred to it as a mild right calf strain, saying Tuesday that he aimed to be cautious with it.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.