Though disarray has swept the Mets over this eight-game road trip, one positive light has certainly been the play of young SS Amed Rosario.
And his play was more than just great on Wednesday night. It was game-changing.
In the bottom of the eighth with a 3-1 lead, the Mets sent Jeurys Familia to the mound to face the Braves' heart of the lineup. After getting one out, Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman had back-to-back hits to put runners on the corners.
With the cleanup hitter in Nick Markakis at the plate, the Mets needed a big pitch from Familia to induce a groundball. He did just that, but Markakis hit it solid back up the middle. It was Rosario, though, that dove to his left, speared the ball, and flipped it to Asdrubal Cabrera who slinged it to first to get out of the jam.
It was the play the Mets desperately needed to finish off this road stretch.
"It's the play that we've been lacking. ...That was probably the difference in the game," Callaway said after the game.
Rosario also did some work with the bat, going 2-for-4 with a double and triple as well as scoring two runs. The shortstop is hitting .333 with a homer, triple, double, and four RBI in his last seven games.
The 22-year-old is hot right now, and this great play is showing Callaway exactly what Rosario can do in this league.
"I think that obviously he's gonna have his ups and downs because he's a young player," he said. "But his ups are probably much better than he's ever been. Those are the times you look at to determine, 'Hey, this kid is going to be a really good player one day.' "
At the plate, Callaway sees Rosario being more patient and it has been paying dividends. And when a player feels good at the plate, it usually translates in the field -- a la the eighth-inning double play.
"The better approach at the plate when he's going good, the defense when he's going good," Callaway said. "It's all positive indicators that we got a player."
Rosario has the potential to become a perennial All-Star in the MLB if he continues to produce the way he has recently. Callaway says he not only has the skills on the field, but he has an unteachable aspect of his personality that could set him apart from others like him in the future.
"I think the really good ones don't get down when it's going bad and I think he has that ability," Callaway said on Rosario. "He's always smiling and that's another thing - you can't teach that. Guys that are hard on themselves, it's tough for them to change. But he comes out to play everyday with energy, always has a smile on his face and that's a good sign. I think he'll be a good player for a long time because of that."
The Mets are certainly smiling because of his clutch play tonight.