Mickey Callaway On WFAN: 'Gloves Are Off' For Zack Wheeler, Mets' Rotation

Mets Manager Joins Evan and JJ To Talk Rotation

WFAN.com
August 07, 2019 - 4:13 pm
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When the Mets acquired Marcus Stroman and held onto Zack Wheeler at the trade deadline, the Mets had arguably one of the top rotations in baseball. The rotation played a catalyst in New York's second-half success and reemergance as a Wild Card contender. Mets manager Mickey Callaway expects his starting five to carry a heavy workload in the final two months of the regular season.  

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Callaway joined WFAN's Evan Roberts and John Jastremski following the Mets' 7-2 win on Wednesday, where Steven Matz threw 103 pitches and seven strikeouts over 6.2 innings. The Mets skipper talked about his hesitation to allow his pitchers to work late into a game if they're approaching 100 pitches. He says that's changing as the Mets continue their run for the playoffs. 

"We're about to be in a spot where all gloves are off," Callaway said. "And you got to let your horses run. They're about to."

Roberts asked the Mets' skipper if the "gloves off" rule included Wheeler, who landed on the injured list in July with right shoulder fatigue.

"Absolutely," Callaway said. "I like these guys to throw 115 pitches. This is what we've conditioned them for and they're our horses. They're our best pitchers and they're going to carry us."

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Wheeler pitched 20.1 innings over the course of his last three outings since his return — victorious in each start. He saw pitch count and workload increase in each start. He reached 101 pitches in Tuesday's win against Miami. 

The Mets sit one game behind Philadelphia for the second Wild Card position. They are set to welcome the Nationals (60-53), who occupy the first place spot in the Wild Card race, and could potentially finish the weekend in playoff position. With the sudden second-half resurgence and his top pitchers on the mound, Callaway is ready for what he believes to become a "battle royale" on Friday. 

"I can't wait for the Nationals to come in here," Callaway. "We've got Syndergaard, Stroman and deGrom going. It's going to be a battle royale at Citi Field."