Yogi Berra had many Yogisms in his four decades with the Yankees and Mets. One of his classics was “It gets late early out here.”
That was in reference to how the sun impacted playing left field at old Yankee Stadium. But it could also be in reference to the Mets season that is quickly spiraling out of control.
After seeing his meager Mets offense produce eight runs in seven games, Mickey Callaway wrote out a very different lineup card for Saturday’s game against the Yankees.
Brandon Nimmo in the leadoff spot has been one of the few bright spots for the Mets, but he is hitting third tonight, as Callaway would like to see some runners on base for Nimmo.
Amed Rosario, and his .279 OBP, will lead off, followed by Todd Frazier.
Was this a move made by reason or just a need for something different? “Fifty-fifty,” Callaway said. “There’s some reasoning behind it, and also we need to just shake things up. Obviously we haven’t been scoring too many runs and I think it was time to make some necessary adjustments to see if we can get our self in a better spot to score some more.”
The offense didn’t come back to Flushing after a road trip to Milwaukee and Atlanta. They scored six runs in four losses to the Cubs, with four of the runs coming in one game. They scored one run in a two-game sweep to the lowly Orioles. And then Masahiro Tanaka and four Yankees relievers held the Mets to one run on Friday, which was a leadoff home run by Nimmo.
Rosario, who has been batting ninth, is not a patient hitter. The young shortstop has drawn eight walks in 208 plate appearances, but the manager is not overly concerned about Rosario’s ability to work the count as a lead off hitter.
“The top guy in our lineup has been seeing pitches and we’re still scoring one run a night,” Callaway said. “So I’m not too worried about him changing his approach. I just want him to go out there and put the best at-bat together he can.”
This is the second straight week that a national TV audience will get to see the Mets, after last week’s 7-1 loss in 14 innings.
Nimmo is showing some pop with eight home runs in 138 at-bats after hitting five in 177 at-bats last season. Now if only those homers could come with runners on base.
“I think the main thing in the lineup is getting some runners on in front of Nimmo,” Callaway said. “And I think that maybe it’s time for Rosario to get a chance to lead off and utilize some of his speed.”
The lineup going against Domingo German is Rosario, Frazier, Nimmo, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Plawecki and Steven Matz. That is the lineup that will try to snap a seven-game losing streak.
Callaway is eager, perhaps desperate, to get Yoenis Cespedes back from rehab. But for now he has to mix and match.