As the losses pile up, New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway is having sleepless nights.
Sure, the New York Mets have now won two straight, but his team’s futile ways haven’t escaped manager Mickey Callaway as of yet.
“No, I get second-guessed enough,” Callaway joked.
Callaway admitted to Nightengale that he is losing sleep over the Mets record-setting collapse. Join the club. Moving from 10 games over .500 to 10 games under in record time is bound to make a manager do some re-thinking. That might not be a bad idea.
Despite his insistence to the contrary, one would be surprised if a move or two hasn’t crept into the rookie skipper’s late-night thoughts. There was the lineup-card snafu in Cincinnati that cost the Mets a game. Callaway, who cut his teeth as an American League pitching coach with the Cleveland Indians seems to have an aversion to the double-switch. Nightengale notes that 21 relievers have made late-inning plate appearances.
Callaway also has yet to establish a consistent formula on either side of the ball. Granted there have been injuries, but Callaway hasn’t even filled out the same lineup card three times in 2018. There have also been some head scratchers—for example, the double-header in which Familia warmed up but watched as the Mets blew a one-run lead in game one, then was asked to finish the final two innings with a three-run lead in game two.
Since starting the season winning 11 of 12, the Mets are 19-37, though they have won back-to-back games for the first time in almost a month after taking the final two games in Arizona over the weekend. The Mets are 7-14 in one-run games. That is in large measure to the struggles of their bullpen and notable offensive futility.
Nightengale notes that the Mets bullpen has lost a league-leading 18 games and have a 6.42 ERA in the Mets last 22 games.
Missing their best hitter, Yoenis Cespedes for over a month now, they recently lost 12 of 13 and failed to score three runs in 11 consecutive games, before finally snapping that streak in those two wins against Arizona. Jay Bruce has played all year with foot and back issues and has been stuck on 3 home runs since May 7. First-baseman Adrian Gonzalez’ 3-27 schneid prompted the Mets to make a change. Supposed lefty-masher Wilmer Flores went homerless against lefties until Monday night in Colorado, embodying the Mets struggles against southpaws.
Jacob deGrom had a league-leading 1.55 ERA entering Monday’s matchup with Colorado. He has been better over his last ten starts with a 0.87 ERA, yet the Mets are 2-8 in those games. The Mets finally gave him some run support on Monday as he lowered his Major League-leading ERA to 1.51 with eight strong innings in Colorado.
Players have to perform, but Callaway, who is in the first of a three-year contract has looked overwhelmed at times. He seemingly has little in the way of answers during the Mets unprecedented 360-degree turn. It took the Mets 66 games to go from 11-1 to ten games under .500, 10 games faster than the 2011 Miami Marlins. In that time their playoff odds have gone from 70-percent to under five percent.
“There’s been sleepless nights. It’s not that I’m worrying about myself, but when you see these guys working so hard, and when the results don’t come, you can’t help but think about that. You lay in bed at night and say, “OK, what am I going to say to this guy? What am I going to say to that guy? Do you leave him alone? Do you let him work through it? Those are the reasons I don’t sleep is to try to right the ship, not necessarily because we lost a game.’’
Hopefully, the two-game winning streak helps matters.