That's all folks: Season ends as bad pitching and offense eliminates the Mets
The entire team flopped in a must-win game and will now be spending the rest of October at home, netting just two baserunners in their winner-take-all game against the Padres
What’s Up with the Mets? 🚩
Similar to the Atlanta series, the Mets got thoroughly outplayed and were shut out by the Padres 6-0 on Sunday night to be eliminated from the playoffs (box)
RHP Chris Bassitt wasn’t at his sharpest and gave up three runs in four innings pitched - he was constantly being disrupted and forced out of rhythm as the Padres kept stepping out of the box
LHP David Peterson came in relief and gave up a run in his inning of work
It what could be his final appearance as a Met, RHP Edwin Díaz allowed two inherited runners to score
Pete Alonso saved the team from getting no hit by going 1-for-3 at the plate, picking up the Mets lone hit
The Mets didn’t get a baserunner past second base - they only had two baserunners all night
The Mets are the first 100+ win team to fail to reach the Division Series since its inception in 1995
The Mets are now 3-5 in winner-take-all playoff games - they have been shutout in three of those five games (1988 NLCS, game 7, 2016 Wild Card game, 2022 Wild Card Series, game 3)
The one hit recorded by the Mets was the fewest ever in a postseason game in franchise history
The show is over, say goodbye 📝
So, that’s it.
The curtain officially came down on the 2022 season with the Mets heading out with a whimper and stunned audience in front of a (not so) sold out crowd at Citi Field on Sunday night. The Mets were never really in this final elimination game and as was the case on Friday and in the series against Atlanta just a week ago, the offense stalled out on Sunday. In fact, all they could muster was one hit and one walk around a desperate attempt from Mets manager Buck Showalter to knock Joe Musgrove out of his rhythm after the Padres had gotten Chris Bassitt to take their bait and knock him out of rhythm.
It was a stunning way to go out especially since they had the batting champion and the league leader in RBIs both in the lineup. The Padres managed to put the ball in play and hit the ball hard, the Mets continued to flail away at the plate, something they were known for all season long.
On paper, it was a fantastic season. They won 101 games. Pete Alonso is the new record holder in RBIs for the franchise, Jeff McNeil became only the second Met to win a batting title, Edwin Díaz was must-see TV any time he entered a game, and Franciso Lindor looked like the player they traded for. They threw a combined no-hitter and had two epic comebacks against the Cardinals and Phillies. There were walk-offs, Shea the therapy dog, Timmy Trumpet and Buckisms.
But that’s all it seemingly was now - a team on paper. They parlayed a 101 win team into one playoff victory in a series they were forced to settle for by their own doing in a span of about ten days (really longer, since the division was arguably lost thanks to a sweep at the hands of the Cubs, losing two of three to the Nationals in early September, and so on).
It was all a fun ride until it wasn’t.
To make myself feel better while the Mets kept making out after out on Sunday night, I went to get a piece of coconut custard pie that I had just bought on Friday. I took one bite and instantly knew it had gone bad. It looked great but I didn’t realize it had gone bad until I tasted it. I still love coconut custard pie but this one just happened to leave a sour taste in my mouth.
The pie runs parallel with the 2022 Mets. We were all expecting sweetness but ended up with something sour instead.
Now, the offseason beings with many questions surrounding the team. Jacob deGrom, Edwin Díaz, and Brandon Nimmo are the big names that can end up elsewhere but Seth Lugo, Trevor May, Adam Ottavino, Trevor Williams, and Mychal Givens are all pieces of this team that are free agents as well. A key core group of players is still there, but this is also a team that might need to be drastically remade if all of them walk, even if the odds of that are low.
Unquestionably, the Mets need to figure out how to build an offense around more power and more first-to-third speed, finding more complete hitters in the process specifically in the designated hitter slots on the roster.
Steve Cohen of course is a very wealthy owner who could, in theory, buy any free agent he wants to. But even keeping that in mind, success in 2023 is not guaranteed.
Look no further than this season which is now dead and buried.
And the fact of the matter is the Mets had a chance to go for it in 2022 if they had seriously addressed their needs at the August 2 trade deadline - they chose not to. Instead of getting the big bat they needed since the lockout and the bullpen arms they needed since the lockout, they opted to play the margins and acquire Darin Ruf, Daniel Vogelbach, Tyler Naquin, and Mychal Givens, none of which were difference makers (not hard to predict), and in the case of Ruf and for awhile Givens, they were actively harming the team. Naquin didn’t even make the postseason roster and there was a real argument Ruf shouldn’t have either.
Hopefully they learn their lesson and don’t squander opportunities in the future. There are plenty of big name free agents on the market this offseason *cough* Aaron Judge *cough cough* who could help the Mets reach the ever elusive promised land, but it will cost a lot especially if the Mets want to keep Díaz and deGrom.
So, after a thrilling season, all that’s left are questions and uncertainty with a really, really bitter taste left over as well. But all of that comes with the perennial hope that sweeter days are ahead.
The October Chase 🏆
The Division Series starts on October 11 with all four games being played on the same day - The Phillies play the Braves and the Padres will be playing the Dodgers as two division rivals square off in both games, while the Yankees will be hosting the Guardians and the Mariners will be playing the Astros in the American League
Aroldis Chapman missed a mandatory Yankee workout ahead of their Division Series against the Guardians, so the Yankees opted to keep him off the initial playoff roster
Adam Wainwright is still weighing whether or not he will retire along with Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols