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Callaway laments decision to pull Syndergaard

Skipper on pitching change in 7th: 'That's one I'd like to have back'
@SlangsOnSports
June 5, 2019

NEW YORK -- Entering Tuesday night, Mets pitcher Seth Lugo had inherited six baserunners this season and hadn’t allowed any of them to score. That changed in the Mets’ 9-3 loss to the Giants, as he allowed an inherited runner to score for the first time this season, leading to

NEW YORK -- Entering Tuesday night, Mets pitcher Seth Lugo had inherited six baserunners this season and hadn’t allowed any of them to score. That changed in the Mets’ 9-3 loss to the Giants, as he allowed an inherited runner to score for the first time this season, leading to a tie game.

Lugo entered in relief of Noah Syndergaard in the seventh inning with Mike Yastrzemski on first. Lugo allowed a single to Evan Longoria which sent Yastrzemski to third, followed by an RBI double from Brandon Belt, which tied the game at 3-3.

Syndergaard was visibly displeased to have been removed with two outs in the frame, and he said after the game that he tried to plead his case to stay in. But Mets manager Mickey Callaway had made the double switch with the umpire before walking to the mound, meaning Syndergaard had already been officially removed from the game.

Box score

“I was a bit surprised. In that moment, in the heat of competition, and just the will to go out there and compete the inning, I got a little fired up and a little frustrated,” Syndergaard said of his reaction. “But that subsided … It was kind of a stinger of a game.”

Callaway said after the game that there were “several reasons” that he removed Syndergaard in that situation, in part hinging on Lugo’s ability to elevate a fastball against Longoria, who is historically a low-ball hitter.

“Looking back, of course hindsight’s 20/20. That’s one I’d like to have back, maybe let him face one more hitter,” Callaway said. “Can’t do that. [You] have to deal with the moment, but that’s one I’d like to have back.”

Callaway noted multiple times that it was one he’d like to have back, and he didn’t just say that in his postgame press conference. Syndergaard told reporters after the game that Callaway brought the team together after the game and was “remorseful of that decision.”

When a managerial decision leads to something like a tie game, which ultimately affects the outcome, sometimes the manager will stand by the decision. But Callaway did not; not to his team nor to reporters. Both Syndergaard and first baseman Pete Alonso said after the game that they appreciated that gesture from Callaway.

“We’re all humans, we’re all eligible to make mistakes,” Syndergaard said. “I think the most important part is to be able to learn from it and move on. If anything, it’s a man that is knowledgeable about the mistakes he makes, something that sparks more respect in our eyes. I commend him for that … I think as a whole, we’re standing strong … We’re going to stand together as a team, including our coaching staff, as a whole.”

Asked why he regretted the decision to the point that he felt the need to say so publicly, Callaway noted that Syndergaard threw a great game.

“I think that he probably deserved -- with a runner on first -- probably a little more benefit of the doubt there. And if he steals second, then allow Noah to make some big pitches with a guy in scoring position,” Callaway said.

The Mets would go on to lose in 10 innings, after Robert Gsellman and Hector Santiago were charged with six runs in the top of the 10th.

Sarah Langs is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @SlangsOnSports.