The New York Mets shot out of the gates with a hot start in April, winning 11 of their first 12 and ending the first month of baseball with a 17-9 record. Then the wheels fell off in a hurry, and the injury plagued Mets went 10-18 in May and are 4-11 so far in June. Prolonged injuries to stars like Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, and Noah Syndergaard aren’t helping, but the Mets are simply playing bad baseball, regardless of who’s on the on field (Jacob DeGrom is perhaps the one exception).
Manager Mickey Callaway is frustrated. And stressed. And apparently, losing sleep over how to turn things around.
“There’s been sleepless nights,” Callaway told Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports. “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.”
The Mets have sunk to fourth place in the NL East, ten games behind the Atlanta Braves. It’s still possible that they can get healthy and make a run, but it will take a small miracle. Callaway, a rookie manager this season, has come under fire for mismanaging a bullpen that was thought to be a strength and embarrassingly had the team bat out of order early in the season after making a mistake on the lineup card.
“Everything is hunky-dory when you’re 11-1,” Callaway explained. “But the down cycle is where you really start to see who people are. This is tough. I understand they didn’t have the greatest go of it last year, but they didn’t have a stretch like this.
“But you learn from challenges like these. Our team will get to know each other a lot sooner than we would have otherwise I don’t know if that makes sense, but that’s the way I feel about it.”
The baseball season is long and full of twists and turns. This team made the World Series in 2015 (losing to Kansas City) and the playoffs in 2016, before falling into a bad rut in 2017 that has carried over to 2018. The Mets open a three-game series in Colorado on Tuesday, and will host the Dodgers in New York on the weekend.