MILWAUKEE — This is real simple for the Mets. Bill Belichick simple.
Do your job.
You can overanalyze the Mets’ ugly 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Brewers Friday night at Miller Park to death.
Should Mickey Callaway have brought in Jeurys Familia in the 10th to get out of the jam instead of losing a game without using his closer?
Should Callaway have hit for Noah Syndergaard with the struggling Jose Reyes with two outs in the seventh and a runner on first?
Why leave AJ Ramos in the game to offer up a walk-off, bases-loaded two-out walk to Travis Shaw that gave the Brew Crew the win?
All legitimate questions, but with this bullpen the Mets have and this short bench Callaway has to call on with the likes of Reyes, who is batting .143, to pinch hit, the answer is with the players, not the manager. Reyes grounded out to second against Josh Hader.
Callaway is running into some of the same problems his predecessor Terry Collins ran into as manager of the Mets.
Sometimes the cupboard is pretty bare.
Even though the Mets seem to have no interest in someone like Hanley Ramirez, who was DFA’d by the Red Sox Friday, it might be worth a look.
As for Ramos, who managed only one strike over his nine pitches, Callaway noted, “He’s in our bullpen and he’s got to pitch in situations like that. He didn’t have it. He didn’t have anything.’’
Another struggling reliever appeared in that 10th inning, lefty Jerry Blevins, who surrendered a single to lefty-hitting Christian Yelich to put runners on first and third and set the stage for this debacle. This came after Robert Gsellman allowed Eric Sogard to single with one out. Sogard had been 0-for-28.
As for using Blevins and Ramos, Callaway said it’s “very similar to when [Jay] Bruce and [Michael] Conforto were struggling. You have to let the players go do their job. If you start not letting them do their job and they’re just sitting down there in the bullpen, you have two pitchers that never pitch.’’
Players have to do their job.
Sometimes it’s not a decision that costs the game. Sometimes it’s just that the players didn’t do their jobs. Brandon Nimmo has been carrying the offense with Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier on the disabled list, but Nimmo finally cooled off, going 0-for-5.
The Mets offense consisted of solo home runs by Amed Rosario and Conforto and a two-out ninth inning single by Jose Bautista that scored Conforto after the Brewers’ closer Corey Knebel dug a hole for himself by walking Conforto and Devin Mesoraco.
Syndergaard threw just 78 pitches on the night and was once again bitten by the stolen base bug, two in the third inning that became runs because of singles by Yelich and Shaw, who homered in the second for the Brewers first run. Shaw’s single to center just eluded the diving Asdrubal Cabrera with the Mets lack of range again a factor.
“It’s tough when two singles score runs because of two stolen bases,’’ Callaway said, adding that Syndergaard has improved at holding runners, “but it’s going to take some time.’’
“It was really tough,’’ Callaway said of the decision to lift Syndergaard, “but considering where we were offensively at the time, you have to get him out of there. He did his job, and we have to score some runs.’’
Callaway could have left Blevins in the game in the 10th, walking the bases loaded to get to the lefty-hitting Shaw, but “we thought the matchup was better with Ramos.’’
The Mets are in the midst of a tough schedule of 18 games in 17 days, weather permitting, and that was something Callaway thought about as well before deciding to left Syndergaard for a pinch-hitter and make it a bullpen game.
“I think you have to just go win the game tonight,’’ Callaway said. “There are times when you have to maybe think about tomorrow but in a close game that’s not the time to think about it, you have to go win.’’
And to win, players have to do their job.
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