The Mets ended their series in Cincinnati on a low note.
After batting out of order in the first inning that likely cost them a run, they wound up dropping two of three to a team that is projected to lose 100 games.
Manager Mickey Callaway took full blame for the fiasco, and wanting to redeem himself, said he wished the Mets played on Thursday instead of having an off day.
“I was surprised when the sun came up yesterday,” he joked. “I wasn’t quite sure it was going to. That was tough.”
Regardless, prior to Friday’s series opener with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Mets introduced a new process to ensure a gaff such as what occurred Wednesday wouldn’t happen again. Though the manager didn’t reveal what the new process will be, him and his staff reportedly discussed the matter for 35-40 minutes.
“From the front office perspective, something like that should never happen. We have processes in place to insure it doesn’t happen. We all know mistakes do happen over the course of a year and a season,” Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said prior to Friday’s game. “The thing you try to do now is you make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“Mistakes will happen. We talked to the guys about making sure we have a process that it doesn’t happen again. We move forward and that’s about it.”
Ricco met with the coaches Friday as well and said there might have been “a lot of things going on” prior to the early start Wednesday that could have caused the lineup card mix up.
“You first have to figure out what’s happening,” Ricco said “Because I (was a) long distance away, when I saw it, immediately, I am thinking OK, where did the process break down: That’s what you look at. So I am constantly watching our rosters, where did the process break down and how do we insure it doesn’t happen again.”
In addition to the new lineup card protocol, New York introduced a new batting practice strategy on Friday.
The team had failed to get anything together offensively prior to Friday’s game where the Mets blasted back-to-back home runs to secure a victory in the ninth inning against their division rivals.
“I think a few of us felt like we were hitting a ton,” Callaway said. “Sometimes, that’s not the way to come out of a slump or something that is going bad.”
The new process is to aim and keep the hitters fresher by hitting less and there is also more emphasis put on situational hitting.
Between the lineup blunder and the team’s struggles in the last couple weeks, this is where Callaway will have to work up some guile and establish himself as a strong leader.
“It’s certainly very easy when you get off to the great start, but this is where good managers show their mettle,” Ricco said. “I’ve been very happy with his attitude throughout this.”