Mickey Callaway: Backs Are Against The Wall For The Mets

LISTEN: Mets Manager Joins Mike Francesa Hoping To 'Run The Table' In Final Weeks

Mike's On
September 17, 2019 - 6:15 pm

Mets manager Mickey Callaway recognizes that his team's back is up against the wall. 

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The Mets fell to Colorado Monday night, dropping even further out of the National League wild-card race. They trail the Cubs by five games for the final postseason spot with 12 games remaining in their regular season. New York would need to pull off a miraculous act to clinch a spot in the playoffs as its "tragic number" reached eight following the loss. 

Callaway joined Mike Francesa on "Mike's On" prior to the second game of the Mets' three-game series against the Rockies. The Mets manager remained optimistic that their valiant run has not reached its conclusion. 

"Losing three out of four [games> is tough," Callaway said. "And put us with our backs against the wall. But we've got to keep the same approach. I know everybody probably gets sick of hearing that — you have to go on some kind of streak. We're going to do our best to concentrate on each game and that's what you've got to do to be on a streak like we need to have. So we'll focus on the next game and keep plugging away ... Let's see if they can do something really special - like you said, you'll almost have to run the table at this point."

Noah Syndergaard is slated to pitch in the series finale on Wednesday. Instead of opting for starter Wilson Ramos, the Mets plan to have Rene Rivera behind the plate for Syndergaard. According to a Sept. 9 report by The New York Post, Syndergaard confronted Mets brass about Ramos. The Mets pitcher voiced his frustration after he appeared to have more success with Rivera catching than he did with Ramos.

Syndergaard has underwhelmed in his fifth season in New York, seeing his ERA rise to a career-worst 4.15 mark and allowing 83 runs — the most since his rookie season (54). Callaway is trying everything to have Syndergaard regain his form.  

"Rivera will be back there," Callaway said. "We're not placating him. We're trying to get him going. We've done this with several guys throughout the season. We are always going to understand that Ramos is our starting catcher this year. That can change moving forward ... we understand where we're at and we need Noah to pitch well. We've done this with [Jacob> deGrom in the past and it got him going. We have a night game then a day game in Colorado. With this altitude, that's tough for anybody so it made a lot of sense to pull the trigger and do that tomorrow."

Callaway believes Syndergaard can build upon this season.

"I think he's thrown some really good games and I think he's had some that are just not what you want out of him," Callaway said. "He's got unbelievable stuff and I think he's going to be a star moving forward. His ERA should be better. He works so hard to be the best that he could be. I think it'll happen. I'm sure he wishes he'd had a better season, but he put some good streaks together. We've got to have him finish strong and go into the offseason and see if he can put together a full season together next year." 

Click the audio player below to listen to Callaway's interview in its entirety.