Brandon Nimmo's start to 2019 has one of the happiest players in baseball feeling a little down.
The Mets outfielder entered Sunday's game -- an eventual 12-9 defeat for New York -- 2-for-26 with 17 strikeouts over the first eight games of the season. The slumping Nimmo was held out of the starting lineup against Max Scherzer and the Nationals, but manager Mickey Callaway inserted the 26-year-old as a pinch-hitter as part of a double-switch in the fifth inning.
Nimmo flew out to center in the bottom half of that frame, but faced Scherzer again in the seventh. He worked a 2-0 count before lining a double to right field that plated Luis Guillorme.
It was the last pitch of Scherzer's outing. In an young season that hasn't contained many positives for Nimmo, this was certainly one.
"That's really important. Found the barrel, so that was good," he said after the game. "It was good to get Scherzer out of the game there, not letting him finish on a good note. It's good to take into next time we face him."
Driving the ball against one of the game's premiere starters allowed Nimmo to regain some confidence, although he's aware Scherzer was waning by that point in the game.
"It's good, but he's on his last breath there, so you can tell he was tired and was having a little bit more trouble commanding in the zone. … That's not the Scherzer you're gonna face first time you go out there. But you just ,again, try and get [pitches to hit]."
Nimmo lined out to right in his final at-bat of the game in the eighth. The Met scored seven runs over the final three innings to at least tighten the margin before eventually falling.
"I think the team fought back, and that was really important," he said. "Just trying to keep the line moving."
Count Callaway as someone who believes Nimmo will break out of the slide soon.
"Just digging in on what's going on with him, It's the high fastballs and breaking balls below the zone," the skipper explained prior to the game. "He's missing them.
"It'll come. It'll come back. He'll be fine. But right now, they're making their pitches (against him). ... Guys just don't go into a slump for no reason."