Unofficially, the Mets’ season ended weeks (if not months) ago after they gave up and parted with a bunch of key players at the trade deadline.
Officially, though, their season finally is ending now.
Here are five moments that helped ruin it along the way.
March 15: Edwin Diaz injures knee at WBC
Diaz tore the patellar tendon in his right knee during a mild postgame celebration with Puerto Rico during the World Baseball Classic and had season-ending surgery the next day. That development and the WBC generally have become popular scapegoats for the Mets and their fans in their fruitless search for answers about why it all went wrong. If a team gets derailed by the absence of one very good player, though, was the team any good to begin with?
May 3: Mets swept by Tigers in doubleheader
This was the start of a two-week stretch in which they exclusively played teams that weren’t supposed to be any good, a part of the schedule during which the Mets were going to get right.
They did not. They lost both games this day, including a nightcap started by Max Scherzer, as well as the series finale started by Justin Verlander in his Mets debut the next day. In between, the Mets held a players-only meeting, trying to emphasize to each other that they were better than this. It seemed not to have an impact.
June 6-8: Mets swept in Atlanta . . . again
In a way, the Mets’ season has ended in Atlanta, at the hands of their division rival, two years in a row.
In 2022, it was a late-season sweep in a de facto NL East championship series, the first half of a two-weekend collapse that turned their 101-win season into a waste. In 2023, it was this early June set that ended with a stunner: a come-from-ahead 13-10 loss in 10 innings. Ozzie Albies crushed a no-doubter of a walk-off home run. The Mets led by three going into the eighth; Drew Smith and David Robertson teamed up to blow it.
Best encapsulating the difference between the teams at that point and all season was their men on the mound in the extra inning of a huge game. Atlanta had its closer, Raisel Iglesias. The Mets had Tommy Hunter, whose career ended a couple of days later.
June 25: Mets suffer
horrendous 7-6 defeat at Phillies
Needing a big win in a big series near the end of a terrible month, the Mets went with Josh Walker, Jeff Brigham and Vinny Nittoli in the eighth inning of a close game. The Phillies scored four runs to take the lead for good.
The Mets’ bullpen depth was sketchy even before they lost Diaz, and this game exposed that as brutally as any. Brigham hit consecutive batters with pitches to force in the tying and winning runs.
July 27: Mets beat Nationals, lose Robertson in trade
During the Mets’ go-ahead rally in the bottom of the eighth, Robertson warmed up for a routine save situation. But
during a rain delay, he was traded to the Marlins, the first in a six-day series of trades dismantling the 2023 Mets. Players weren’t shocked by Robertson’s departure, but nobody realized the extent of what was to come.