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Jeff McNeil exits game with apparent hamstring injury

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Bad news for the resurgent Mets: utilityman Jeff McNeil was forced to leave Tuesday night’s game against the Braves in the ninth inning after suffering an apparent left hamstring injury. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, McNeil was attempting to beat out an infield ground ball leading off the inning.

McNeil finished the night 1-for-5 and is now batting .332/.400/.529 with 31 doubles, 15 home runs, 54 RBI, and 67 runs scored in 442 plate appearances. He and Pete Alonso have been the most valuable Mets, so it would be a tremendous loss for the team if he needed to miss time on the injured list.

The Mets dropped Tuesday’s contest to the Braves 5-3. It’s their second loss in a row after winning eight straight.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.