The Mets’ tough day on the diamond turned into a reportedly contentious one in the visitors' clubhouse.
According to multiple reports, Mets manager Mickey Callaway got into a confrontation with a beat reporter following New York’s 5-3 loss to the Cubs in Sunday’s series finale at Wrigley Field. Per the reports, Callaway asked the team’s public relations department to remove the reporter from the visitors' clubhouse, and pitcher Jason Vargas also exchanged words with the reporter and challenged him to an altercation before he was restrained by teammates Carlos Gomez and Noah Syndergaard.
Tensions were high after the Mets couldn't finish a tight game against the first-place Cubs and missed a chance to take three of four at Wrigley. New York hasn't won a road series since the first week of April, and the Mets have lost seven of their last 11 to drop to four games below .500.
The team issued a statement on Sunday evening: "The Mets sincerely regret the incident that took place with one of our beat writers following today's game in the clubhouse. We do not condone this type of behavior from any employee. The organization has reached out and apologized to this reporter and will have further discussions internally with all involved parties."
Callaway was asked several questions about the way he managed Sunday’s game. He left reliever Seth Lugo -- who pitched two innings (17 pitches) on Friday -- in to face Javier Baez instead of turning to Robert Gsellman or closer Edwin Diaz, and Lugo surrendered a game-altering three-run homer to Baez on his 42nd pitch of the game. Callaway steadfastly defended his pitching decision, maintaining that he preferred not to ask Diaz to go more than four outs in an appearance -- though Diaz had pitched just twice (for 12 total pitches) in the past eight days.
The Mets close the weekend nine games back of the Braves in the National League East and four games back of the NL’s second Wild Card spot.