Mets manager Luis Rojas walks back to the dugout after...

Mets manager Luis Rojas walks back to the dugout after removing pitcher Jared Hughes during the fourth inning during the second game of a doubleheader against the Marlins on Tuesday at Citi Field. Credit: AP/John Minchillo

By the end of Tuesday night’s doubleheader, a span of seven hours at Citi Field interrupted by a 65-minute rain delay, the Marlins were still trying to win a baseball game.

The Mets? I have no idea what they were doing. Neither did they, apparently.

Actually, I take that back. They were watching the Marlins’ Jon Berti circle the bases in the sixth inning — one after the other — with a sense of impunity that usually is reserved for great base thieves such as Lou Brock or Rickey Henderson.

It was bad enough that Berti clipped second off reliever Jeurys Familia, then got a two-hop head start to swipe third. You’d think the Mets would be paying closer attention down 2-0. Then again, they hadn’t scored in the previous 13 innings, went 0-for-15 with RISP and left 19 on base, so maybe they figured what was the point, anyway.

With that disturbing level of offensive futility, whether or not Berti eventually crossed the plate probably didn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. Even if the Mets somehow tied the game in the seventh inning, it would have taken until breakfast — two days later — for them to get a runner in from second base.

But Berti did make it home. And in a way so humiliating to the Mets that it was nothing less than gross baseball negligence, and really the first poor reflection on this very early tenure of rookie manager Luis Rojas.

With J.D. Davis playing far back off third, and Familia paying him no mind, Berti advanced nearly halfway to the plate. Then he duped catcher Ali Sanchez, the 23-year-old making his first MLB start, into thinking he was merely returning to third between pitches.

This time, however, Berti waited for Sanchez to loft a lollipop throw back to Familia, then he spun and sprinted for the plate. It gets worse. Berti couldn’t even stay on his feet, stumbling as he tried to get traction, and had to bear-crawl his way to the plate, still lunging in safe as Sanchez couldn’t hold on to Familia’s terrible throw.

For such a thing to unfold, with these games increasing in importance against an NL East foe, it was inexcusable. At least Rojas, to his credit, understood that as he spoke to us afterward.

Was the manager embarrassed by that play?

“Yeah, that shouldn’t happen,” Rojas said. “Especially us anticipating that they’re going to play very aggressive. They’re known for that. They play aggressive and we know this. We should stay on our toes and I don’t think we did that there.”

So what are these Mets known for? Their poor situational hitting? A fractured rotation running on fumes? What’s the personality of this team?

Here’s what we know so far. The Mets are 12-16 after dropping both games of Tuesday’s doubleheader, 4-0 and 3-0, the first time they’ve been shut out on both ends since 1975. That doesn’t bode well for this weekend, with two more doubleheaders coming up in the span of three days. They’ll have Jacob deGrom on the mound Wednesday night after holding him back due to the quarantine, but the Mets are still going to need more than zero runs to win.

Something else they might want to keep in mind. If the Mets are going to keep shrinking with runners in scoring position, and these games are going to stay ultra-close as a result, better tighten things up. We’ve praised them in this space for a much improved defense at times, with the Dom Smith-Luis Guillorme-Andres Gimenez alignment. But now Gimenez, who at 21 already is one of the brainier, more heads-up players on the roster, is on the IL with what the Mets called “undisclosed reasons.”

Translation: Gimenez must be tangentially involved in last week’s COVID-19 outbreak, either testing positive himself or having contact with someone who did, and that’s a big loss for however long it turns out to be. In the meantime, the Mets need to smarten up and start playing like there’s only 32 games left to the season. Because that’s the grim reality.

Though it’s true the Mets were coming off a five-day quarantine, with only Monday’s workout to tune up, that excuse doesn’t fly in 2020. Stuff like that is part of the schedule now. It has to be conquered. Maybe ask the Marlins (14-11) how they did it. I’d say hit up Berti but he’s never standing still long enough to chat.

“I don’t want to say it’s embarrassing,” Smith said. “You’ve got to give the Marlins a lot of credit seeing them play us the last several years. They might not have been the best team in baseball, but as far as how scrappy they are, how hard they play, how aggressive they are as a team. How much they grind.”

With all that standing around watching them Tuesday night, hopefully the Mets learned something.