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Mickey Callaway Screwed Up, Brodie Van Wagenen Screwed Up More

The New York Mets completely blew it last night. Behind that loss was a a number of players failing. Todd Frazier couldn’t get a hit in two key RBI situations. Steven Matz allowed a grand slam. Brad Brach failed to cover first in time. There’s obviously more.

Behind the players failing was a number of questionable to flat out indefensible decisions from Mickey Callaway.

Callaway should not have let Matz face Jorge Alfaro. With the team having zero margin for error, you cannot use Walker Lockett under any circumstance. There’s no saving the top arms in the bullpen to fight for another day because if you lose, there isn’t going to be another day.

There were other decisions like not starting Brandon Nimmo or allowing Michael Conforto to bat against Brian Moran. You could also question using Rajai Davis as a pinch hitter in the sixth over Nimmo. To be fair, these decisions were mitigated by Juan Lagares going 1-for-3 with a run and a walk, and Amed Rosario hitting a grand slam.

The pinch hitting decisions were mitigated by the actual options available. Tomas Nido and Rene Rivera are not good hitters. Jed Lowrie hasn’t had a hit in his limited pinch hitting appearances, and he has just one right-handed at-bat all year. That’s it for the right-handed bench options against the left-handed pitching the Marlins had out there in the form of Caleb Smith and Moran.

It certainly makes you question why the Mets never made a roster move to add Dilson Herrera to the roster. After all, they lost Eric Hanhold so they can have Chris Mazza and Donnie Hart on the roster, neither of whom have pitched one meaningful inning in September.

Taking that into consideration, you have to look at the bullpen again. Seth Lugo and Justin Wilson are the only reliable arms down there. You can trust Brach against right-handed batters but not left, and vice versa for Luis Avilan. After that, it’s a straight roll of the dice. Sadly, it’s a heavily weighted pair of dice putting the odds stacked against the Mets.

Reliever ERA
Jeurys Familia 6.00
Drew Gagnon 8.74
Walker Lockett 7.66
Tyler Bashlor 7.65
Paul Sewald 4.67
Chris Mazza 6.43
Brad Brach 3.95
Daniel Zamora 5.63
Donnie Hart 0.00

Look at those ERAs again. Lockett wasn’t even the worst ERA available in the bullpen last night. He wasn’t the only one with an ERA over 5.00. In fact, taking away the top two relievers, there were only three relievers with an ERA under that mark, and one of those, Hart, has only pitched 1.0 innings.

Put aside for a moment the Mets entered the season with Tim Peterson in the bullpen putting the team 1-2 relievers short to start the season. At the trade deadline, the Mets went out and got Marcus Stroman, and they didn’t back it up with another move. Sure, they got Brach, but he fell into their laps. It wasn’t a proactive move on the Mets part.

The bench has always been an issue too. We have seen the Mets cycle through Aaron Altherr, Keon Broxton, Carlos Gomez, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Ruben Tejada while rage cutting Travis d’Arnaud. Again, the Mets did little to address this at the trade deadline with Joe Panik falling into their laps like Brach did.

This team was ill constructed from the get-go, and for some reason when the Mets doubled down at the trade deadline, they did nothing to fix their two biggest problems – the bench and the bullpen.

Now, it’s possible a very good manager like Terry Francona or Bruce Bochy could’ve navigated their way around these problems, but we know Callaway couldn’t. The Mets knowing that and handing him a roster which feeds into his deficiencies as a manager makes what Brodie Van Wagenen did all the worse.

So, yes, Callaway screwed up yesterday, and he has screwed up in other spots. But make no mistake, this was largely the result of the roster he was given. For that, Brodie Van Wagenen should shoulder the blame he was absolutely unwilling to accept earlier in the year.

6 thoughts on “Mickey Callaway Screwed Up, Brodie Van Wagenen Screwed Up More”

  1. Oldbackstop says:

    Every armchair fanboy whose team does win the WS screams incompetence.

    Well, the Mets will improve considerably over last year’s 77 wins. Vegas odds projected 83.5 wins….they should top that. MLB teams rarely jump 8 or 10 games in a year, unless their payroll skyrockets.

    The Mets have the same payroll, more or less, one always has to say, but I saw an Opening Day list that only had them 2 million apart from last year. Damn, wish the payroll was more it….., but it was more than most.

    So Brodie shook it up. New starters around the horn except for Rosario. Had some good luck with injuries (the rotation) and some bad luck (Nimmo, Jed whatever his name is). Some players greatly exceeded expectations (Alonso, JD) some disappointed (Diaz, Noah, every CFer)

    They had interesting games until the last week, which is a welcome change.

    They have Wheeler and Frazier and Lagares walking, but….everybody is losing people, that is not terrible, and maybe they’ll get Wheeler. But we have six months to kvetch about who they aren’t signing.

    It was a good year, and by W/L improvement (what else matters), nobody should be canned in a shakeup.

    Had we added one strong bat at the deadline, I think we would be in the wildcard. Some games the bench was pathetic…Guillorme, Lagares, Nido or some such. But that was due to injuries..Dom, Lowery, Nimmo…and how many guys are you going to stack?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Defending Brodie’s work is as clueless as it gets.

  2. Oldbackstop says:

    The commentary from the guys tonight is exactly what I have been saying:

    — JD Davis is a monster acquisition. He is on track to have the highest home OPS of any Met in history. In history. They are going to have to find a place for him in 2020.

    — Noah Syndergaard, by himself, killed the 2019 Mets. After having four starts over 4 runs in 2018, He had FIFTEEN this year. He has allowed the fifth most hits in the NL. He leads in stolen bases allowed by a mile. His bitching about Ramos led to his having Rivera start last week….and they got killed. It led to sitting Ramos and having Nido be his personal catcher….and they got killed.

    And he is a jerk. I hope they trade him.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      You should include a rim shot to that comment

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        You dad joke quips are as sad as they are intelligent.

        Let’s do this….double Vargas’ starts in his half season with the Mets and compare them to Noah’ disastrous campaign. Better record. Lower ERA. Better job holding runners.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Rim shot

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