NEW YORK -- Speaking before the Mets' 6-4 loss to the Pirates on Monday, their seventh straight and their 19th in 23 games, manager Mickey Callaway stressed the importance of his demeanor as his team's once-promising season smolders. Callaway, who rarely raises his voice and almost never offers negative critiques
NEW YORK -- Speaking before the Mets' 6-4 loss to the Pirates on Monday, their seventh straight and their 19th in 23 games, manager Mickey Callaway stressed the importance of his demeanor as his team's once-promising season smolders. Callaway, who rarely raises his voice and almost never offers negative critiques of his players, remarked, "I hate losing more than anybody," but, "I understand that it takes more of an even-keel manner to make sure that we get to where we want to get as an organization."
"It's not just about today," Callaway said.
If Monday did not pierce Callaway's emotional armor, perhaps nothing will. The Mets committed three errors in their defeat, including two from defensive-minded prospect Luis Guillorme. Until the seventh inning, when they rallied for four runs to pique the assembled 22,135 fans' interest, the Mets had more errors than hits.
"I just didn't make the plays," Guillorme said. "There's really nothing behind it. It just didn't go my way."
Those miscues caused extra pitches to pile up for starter Seth Lugo, who threw 99 of them in five innings. Only one of the three runs that Lugo allowed -- a Gregory Polanco homer in the second inning -- was earned. The other two crossed home following Guillorme's errors, and two additional runs scored when reliever Tyler Bashlor, in his big league debut, served up a sixth-inning homer to Josh Bell.
That ensured that when Wilmer Flores hit a three-run shot off Tyler Glasnow in the seventh, flipping his bat to punctuate it, it would do nothing more than draw the Mets within one. With nine outs to play with against the Pirates' 22nd-ranked bullpen, the Mets could not push across the tying run, instead falling for the 14th time in their last 15 games at Citi Field. The Mets now have the fewest wins in the National League and are a half-game up on the Marlins for the league's worst record.
"It's tough. We haven't been winning games," Callaway said. "We need to start playing some better baseball to win some games."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
In a pinch: Flores' successes coming off the bench this season continued in the seventh inning, when his three-run homer improved him to 5-for-14 with a homer, a double and five walks as a pinch-hitter. After Jose Reyes and Kevin Plawecki connected on consecutive doubles to push Pirates starter Jameson Taillon from the game, Guillorme walked to bring up the pitcher's spot. Enter Flores, who sent a 96-mph fastball 396 feet to left for the home run that gave the Mets life.
The Mets have had a player make his Major League debut in three consecutive games: Drew Smith on Saturday, Kevin Kaczmarski on Sunday and Bashlor on Monday. The last time that happened was in 2012, when Jeremy Hefner, Jordany Valdespin and Zach Lutz debuted in succession.
Bashlor recovered from Bell's homer to retire the final four batters he faced, dialing his fastball up to 97 mph.
"It was a weird experience, kind of an out-of-body experience," Bashlor said. "It didn't go like I planned, but next time will be better."
HE SAID IT
"We're out there battling. We're fighting till the end and that's all we can do." -- Lugo
The Mets chalked up Steven Matz's struggles last time out to Coors Field, where he allowed five runs in his worst start of the season. Before that, Matz had been one of their most consistent pitchers, posting a 2.47 ERA over an eight-start run. He'll look to rebound at Citi Field in a 7:10 p.m. ET game Tuesday against the Pirates, who will counter with right-hander Chad Kuhl.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.