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Mets one-hit by Marlins as slump continues

Loss to Fish drops New York to season-low 4 games below .500
@cdenicola13
May 18, 2019

MIAMI -- The Mets officially hit a low point in this young season on Saturday, dropping to four games below .500 after mustering just one hit in a 2-0 loss to the Marlins at Marlins Park. After winning the opener of its current road trip in Washington, New York has

MIAMI -- The Mets officially hit a low point in this young season on Saturday, dropping to four games below .500 after mustering just one hit in a 2-0 loss to the Marlins at Marlins Park.

After winning the opener of its current road trip in Washington, New York has dropped four in a row, including two straight to rebuilding Miami, which entered the weekend series with a Major League-low 10 wins.

Box score

Most of the postgame questions, as a result, centered around the future of Mets manager Mickey Callaway, whose ballclub entered 2019 with the goal of returning to the postseason for the first time since '16.

"As a leader, you can't ever worry about yourself," Callaway said when asked about his job security. "One of the things I told them when I got hired is selfless service is very important to me. My goal every day is to improve that room, be consistent and make sure that our players continue to improve."

Of course, that's easier said than done when Jeff McNeil's double on the first pitch of the game proves to be the only hit against three Marlins arms. Right-hander Pablo Lopez, who surrendered 10 runs over three innings at Citi Field last weekend, exacted revenge by shutting down the Mets for seven frames on Saturday.

According to Callaway, the lack of success can't be attributed to a lack of urgency or effort. Nine-year veteran Todd Frazier agreed with the sentiment, citing players showing up to the ballpark early and remaining focused.

"I think he's doing a great job," said Frazier, who went 0-for-2 with a walk and two strikeouts to lower his average to .183 on the season. "He can't go up there and hit. He makes the lineup, he puts the guys in at the right time and we're not producing. At the end of the day, he makes the lineup, he does his job, he's a great manager and our focus is on winning games, and we're not doing that for him. Of course you guys are going to ask us those questions, but if we're not producing, it's on us."

It may now be a question of whether things turn around sooner rather than later in what is expected to be a competitive National League East over the course of the 162-game schedule.

Callaway, whose record is 97-109 since being named Mets manager, might not have the luxury of time.

"You guys say immediate, I say we've got to find a way to win," Frazier said. "First and foremost, we've got to find a way to get W's, that's it. I wouldn't say now, but we would like that at the end of the day. For us, we've got to look ourselves in the mirror and figure out a way to find ourselves a win. That's basically it. We had one hit. We're not going to win getting one hit."

Added Steven Matz, who allowed two runs over 3 2/3 innings in his return from the injured list: "We've got a lot of baseball left, so I think everybody's mindset -- I can't speak for everybody -- but just take it day by day. If you look too much at the big picture, you can drown yourself in it. Win tomorrow and the next day and just take it day by day."

New York has underachieved across the board and dealt with various injuries. Its rotation, considered a strength heading into the season, has seen reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom be mortal. Starting pitchers have posted a 4.70 ERA, which ranks 22nd in the Majors. The club’s OPS (.725) is 20th. Offseason acquisitions Robinson Cano and Jeurys Familia have gotten off to slow starts, while Jed Lowrie has yet to appear in a game.

Even rookie Pete Alonso -- a bright spot through 44 games -- entered Saturday hitting .205 with a .729 OPS since April 23.

"I'm coming in tomorrow to manage the New York Mets, and I'm going to be enthusiastic about it, and I'm going to continue to lead this team to something special," Callaway said.

Christina De Nicola is a reporter and game producer for MLB.com based in Miami. Follow her on Twitter @CDeNicola13.