It’s becoming crystal clear that the New York Mets’ hot streak that ended this week was in spite of their manager, Mickey Callaway.
Following a stretch of 15 wins in 16 games, the Mets have lost three straight — one to the Washington Nationals on Sunday before two against the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves.
Their latest defeat on Tuesday night further proved why the Mets are going to need a different manager if they want to be contenders down the road.
Callaway inexplicably pulled his starter, Steven Matz, who was cruising with a 2-1 lead.
The southpaw had given up just two hits and one run in six innings of work while retiring the last 14 batters he faced.
And it took him just 79 pitches.
At that rate, he’s should at least be going eight innings.
It looked like he was going to stay in the game when he batted in the top of the seventh, but for some reason, Callaway yanked him for Seth Lugo.
Lugo had been the Mets’ best bullpen arm, but there was no need to put him in that early; especially with Matz piecing together one of his best performances of the season.
By now, you already know what happened. Lugo was tagged for five runs and the Mets lost 6-4.
This was overmanaging at its absolute worst.
There was no reason for Callaway to pull Matz at that spot, especially when there was a golden opportunity to keep a shaky bullpen sidelined.
Besides, this is August. There is no time to be resting key contributors when every single chance at a victory is vital.
Atlanta showed no signs of figuring Matz out any time soon and amid a playoff hunt, Callaway just threw away a win against a divisional opponent.
Now the Mets are 10 games back of the division when they could realistically be eight or even seven back. Callaway’s actions also lost another game in the Wild Card standings, allowing the Philadelphia Phillies to jump back over the Mets.
New York is three games back of the final Wild Card spot now when they were just a half-game back on Sunday.
That’s what bad managing will do for you.
The most insulting thing to everyone, especially Mets fans, was Callaway doubling down on this ridiculous move.
“I’ll make that move 100 times out of 100, that’s the right move in my mind,’’ he said after the game.
At least everyone else knows that he would be making 100 wrong decisions.
The problem is that he’s the only one tasked in making such ridiculous choices.
And that’s what matters most.
There’s a very good chance that the Mets’ biggest obstacle separating them from the postseason is their manager.
That’s a huge problem.
Get Joe Girardi on the phone… or almost any Mets fan. Even they have a better sense of how the team should be run than the manager.