New York- The season is over for the New York Mets (74-87) and their 9-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies (90-72) put a damper on what was a positive weekend. The story of the day, however, came prior to first pitch as manager Buck Showalter broke the news that he will not be back as the Mets’ skipper for the 2024 season.
The Mets put up a “Thank You Buck” graphic on the scoreboard prior to the game as he brought the lineup card out to home plate for the last time. The fans gave him a standing ovation and every player went on the field in front of the dugout to salute their manager, which was a highly classy move for a man one year removed from winning the National League’s Manager of the Year award. Showalter will now finish his Mets’ tenure with a record of 176-148.
The game itself started out decently for the Mets as Jose Butto pitched well in his final start of the season. The Phillies got two runs off of Butto (L, 1-4), an RBI single from Bryson Stott in the third and an Alec Bohm solo homer (20), but the Mets’ offense couldn’t help him out with run support. The only offense on the day came from Tim Locastro, who hit a solo shot (2) off Phillies’ bulk reliever Nick Nelson in the third inning. That would be the only damage Nelson (W, 1-0) would allow in 5.1 innings of relief as he allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out three.
The Mets tried to stay away from their bullpen after yesterday’s doubleheader, asking Denyi Reyes to try finishing the game. Reyes did solidly through his first two innings of work, giving up one run in the eighth on an RBI single from Brandon Marsh, but the wheels came off in the ninth. The Phillies got two runs off of Reyes and got two more on with one out before Showalter made his final pitching change, going from Reyes to Anthony Kay. Kay gave up a sacrifice fly to Bohm before Marsh put the exclamation point on the game, slamming a three-run bomb (12) to cap the scoring.
After the game, owner Steve Cohen briefly addressed the media, indicating that the choice to move on from Showalter was at the request of incoming President of Baseball Operations David Stearns, who wanted to bring in his own manager. Cohen agreed to that request and confirmed that Stearns will be introduced at a press conference tomorrow.
Showalter also indicated after the game that he still is willing to manage in the future if the opportunity presents itself. The Mets let Showalter speak to the media after the game and he was largely positive about his experience with his big regret being that he will not get the opportunity to see the job through after a disappointing 2023 campaign.
Player of the Game:
Today’s Player of the Game award goes to Phillies’ bulk reliever Nick Nelson, who dominated the Mets’ lineup to earn his first win of the season.
Francisco Alvarez left today’s game after taking a foul ball off his foot while catching. Michael Perez finished the game behind the plate.
The Mets got just two hits on the afternoon: Locastro’s homer and a single from Ronny Mauricio.
Major League Baseball has not officially announced the end result of the suspended game from Thursday but with it being rendered irrelevant for both playoff berth and seeding purposes the expectation is the game will be called as a Mets’ victory after eight innings, voiding Miami’s rally in the ninth.
The Mets lost the season series with the Phillies 7-6 as a result of losing today.
Assuming that MLB does declare Thursday’s game as a win for the Mets they will finish with a record of 43-38 at home.
The Mets’ (projected) 75-87 finish since 2017, when they went 70-92.
The 2023 season has come to a close and now the focus shifts off the field, beginning with the introduction of Stearns tomorrow. A managerial search and an important offseason is sure to follow. We appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read this blog throughout the season and stick with us in the offseason for more great content about the Mets.