Mickey Callaway or Mickey Mouse?
This is what Mets fans are asking themselves after listening to Mickey Callaway, manager of the Mets, justify the pulling of Steven Matz last night after 79 pitches through 6 innings.
Matz was cruising, yielding only two hits to a Braves lineup that can put up some runs. Callaway, pulled Matz, in favor of Seth Lugo. On the surface, this might not be the worst move considering that Lugo is the Mets best reliever and one of the most effective in the majors this year.
What is odd about it is what led up to the decision. Lugo was not up in the top half of the inning to stat. This made sense since Callaway let Matz hit for himself. This led everyone to believe Matz would go out for the bottom of the 7th.
Lugo is the Mets best reliever meaning that running him out in the 7th was going to mean the appearance of Edwin Diaz if Lugo pitched two scoreless innings. If the game remained a one run affair, that is the last place anyone would want Diaz the way he is going.
A much better option, if it all was going to work out, was to have Matz get through the 7th and then you could put in Lugo for the 8th and 9th. With every win being important, using Lugo in the highest of leverage situations makes sense.
Callaway muddled the entire process. The analytics say he did the exact opposite of what he should have done. Callaway's response is that the Mets go against the analytics 85% of the time.
Tell that to the Yankees, Cardinals, Astros, and Red Sox, teams that have successfully used them to win World Championships.