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This is it for the 2023 Mets...
New York completes a double header sweep of the Phillies on Saturday. Plus, one last game in a troubled season.
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What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
RHP Tylor Megill pitched his best game of the season, just one run on four hits with seven strikeouts over 7.1 innings in Game 1
C Omar Narváez hit just his 2nd home run in the season in the first game of the doubleheader
SS Francisco Lindor went a combined 2-for-6 with a home run (31), two RBI, a walk and four runs scored in the doubleheader
3B Brett Baty started both games on Saturday and went 2-for-8 at the plate, driving in a run in each of the contests
LHP José Quintana struggled in his second straight start, allowing three runs on seven hits in just four innings in Game 2
C Francisco Álvarez went 2-for-3 with two home runs (24, 25), six RBI, a walk and three runs scored in the nightcap
Álvarez is just one home run shy of the all-time record for most home runs in a season by a catcher age 21 or younger (Johnny Bench, 26)
Former Mets 2B Daniel Murphy received a video tribute and threw out the first pitch prior to the doubleheader on Saturday afternoon
The Mets and Marlins will reportedly not be forced to resume their suspended game from Thursday night – once official, this would erase the Marlins’ comeback in the top of the 9th inning and give the Mets a 1-0 win, meaning they would not finish in line as one of the six worst teams ahead of next year’s draft lottery
Injury Updates 🏥
CF Brandon Nimmo (AC joint injury in shoulder) was placed on the 10-day injured list and is done for the season
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (74-86) vs. Phillies (89-72)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, New York
Starting pitchers: RHP José Butto (1-3, 3.75 ERA) vs. LHP Matt Strahm (9-5, 3.32 ERA)
When: 3:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
One more, once… ✍️
When I was in the high school marching band years ago, our instructor would always push us to finish on a high note when we’d practice. “One more, once!” he would yell, though it did not always mean that would be our actual final run-through if he didn’t feel as if we’d nailed it.
For the New York Mets, though, this is indeed their final performance of what has been a tumultuous 2023 season.
It’s hard to believe that a season that has felt dead for nearly three months now once began with so much hope and promise. Coming into the season, many believed the Mets would be playing for playoff positioning in October right now. Instead, they’ve been playing out the string since July.
We’ve been over this time and time again in this newsletter, but so much went wrong for this organization this year and, for whatever reason, the vibes just never felt quite right. While the offseason was an exciting one with a lot of signings, the excitement was not there in the way that it would normally be for a fresh baseball season.
Maybe the sting from 2022 hadn’t yet worn off, or maybe I just needed the real games to start in order to feel that anticipation and excitement again. If there were any chance of that being the case, it was quickly wiped out when closer Edwin Díaz went down with a season-ending injury while celebrating in the World Baseball Classic. I remember the devastation I felt that night following the news updates on my phone, and in retrospect I don’t think things ever felt the same with the Mets as the regular season began.
It didn’t help matters that José Quintana also went down with a major injury in spring training, or that Justin Verlander – the Jacob deGrom replacement – was placed on the injured list just minutes before first pitch on Opening Day. The Baseball Gods, if you believe in such a thing, simply were not on the Mets side this season. Things just never seemed to go well for this club, some of it out of pure randomness, some of it based on player performance and a lot of it coming from the culmination of risk you take on when assembling baseball’s oldest roster.
Whatever the cause, the Mets ended up here. Eliminated with nothing to play for in the season’s final weekend, all while watching three other teams in their division make the playoffs instead of them.
Okay then – let’s do this one last time. Today the Mets play their final game of the season against the Phillies before packing it up for the long winter. And while the last day of the season (even in unsuccessful years) is normally sad and bittersweet, I think we’ve reached a point where we could all use a bit of a break from what this season became. After today, the Mets get to hit the reset button on the biggest disappointment in the history of their franchise. They will begin a new chapter as they announce the hiring of David Stearns to run their organization tomorrow, and will enter one of the most crucial offseasons they’ve had in recent memory.
So let’s play a baseball game today. One more, once…
Around the League 🚩
The Marlins clinched their fourth postseason berth in franchise history after their victory over the Pirates
The Dbacks clinched their first trip to the playoffs since 2017 despite losing to the Astros, 1-0
Houston also clinched a postseason berth thanks to their victory in Arizona, making it to the playoffs for the seventh straight year
The Rangers clinched their first playoff appearance since the 2016 season after their 6-1 win vs Seattle, which officially eliminated the Mariners from postseason contention
Despite an extra innings loss to the Rays, the Blue Jays clinched a playoff spot of their own
All 12 postseason spots have now been decided with just seeding yet to be determined on the final day of the regular season