At 12-2, Mickey Callaway has not had to face too much scrutiny yet as a rookie manager, but on Sunday he was forced to answer a questionable decision in the fifth inning when the Mets appeared set to blow the game open.
Callaway decided to pinch-hit Jay Bruce for catcher Tomas Nido with runners on second and third and two outs, but with first base open, the Brewers chose to walk Bruce intentionally to face Noah Syndergaard, who popped up to end the threat.
Callaway explained it was because he did not want Bruce playing the field and did not have enough players to double switch to avoid the pitcher leading off the sixth.
“We didn’t have enough players to double switch because we wanted to keep those guys off the field today, so we needed Noah to bat,” Callaway said. “So I figured let’s put Bruce in there. If they pitch to him, fine, if Noah gets to hit, then we don’t have to worry about double switching, and maybe Noah goes another inning. If not, we don’t have to worry about the double switch with (Robert) Gsellman coming in. Gsellman probably didn’t have his best stuff, didn’t get to go as long as I liked, but that was the thought process.”
EMBRACING THE ELEMENTS
While inclement weather resulted in six games being canceled across MLB on Sunday, the Mets were trying to take advantage of the elements in their 3-2 victory over the Brewers.
The first-pitch temperature at Citi Field was 42 degrees with 19 mile-an-hour winds, but Syndergaard, who struck out 11, said it helped him.
“The cold weather actually benefits my changeup,” he said. “It forces me to hold it more like an egg and allows my arm to be more whip-like and that’s the ultimate goal trying to throw a changeup, to sell that arm speed.”
Brandon Nimmo, who went 3-for-5 with a home run and triple, said the cold weather helps him stay locked in for good pitches to hit.
“If you reach for that (outside) pitch you’re not going to feel your hands for the next inning,” Nimmo said. “So I think for me the big thing was to get ’em up, get ’em in the zone and that was the team approach. Cold weather might add to strength of the strike zone.”
Jose Reyes continued to struggle at the plate on Sunday, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout and moving to 0-for-16 on the season.
Callaway said it is just a matter of transitioning to a backup role and Reyes needs to adjust.
“He led the team in plate appearances last year and he’s not getting to play very much,” Callaway said. “He’s going through a transition to play sporadically, pinch hit, get a start every fifth or sixth day. He’ll figure it out, he’s a good player.”
Send a Letter to the Editor