New York Mets’ 2023 In Review

Justin Verlander, New York Mets.

Life as a fan of the New York Mets is never easy. 2022 proved to be a fun exception as the Mets won 101 games and returned to the postseason before losing in the Wild Card Series to the San Diego Padres. 2023 wasn’t nearly as successful for the Mets, who won 26 fewer games and held a mid-season fire sale to reboot the organization. With the calendar year set to come to a close in less than 12 hours, let’s look back at some of the big moments of the year for the Mets in chronological order.

January 11

The Mets back out of their contract agreement with Carlos Correa over concerns with his ankle, leading him to return to the Minnesota Twins on a six-year deal worth $200 million. Owner Steve Cohen listened to the team’s medical staff and slashed the team’s original offer in half, ending a surprise free agency pickup in disappointment.

January 31

Jeff McNeil signs a four-year contract extension worth $50 million. The deal comes after McNeil won the 2022 National League batting title and ties him to New York through at least the 2026 season.

March 15

Edwin Diaz nails down a save to help Puerto Rico advance in the World Baseball Classic but injures his knee celebrating with his teammates on the field. The end result is a torn patellar tendon that will sideline him for at least six months.

March 30 The Mets win on Opening Day, defeating the Miami Marlins, but also have to place top free-agent pickup Justin Verlander on the injured list with a low-grade strain of his teres major muscle on his right side. Verlander misses the first month of the season as a result.

April 19

The Mets win a series in Los Angeles but Max Scherzer is ejected after umpires deem he used sticky substances. Scherzer, who claims he was simply using sweat and rosin, accepts a 10-game suspension that leaves the Mets a man short for 10 days.

May 4

With the team scuffling, Verlander makes his Mets debut and gives up two first inning solo home runs, but it isn’t enough as the Detroit Tigers complete a sweep of the Mets. The sweep kicks off a 4-9 stretch against bad teams, putting the team in a big hole in the standings.

May 21

Scherzer and Verlander dominate as the Mets sweep a doubleheader against the Cleveland Guardians to complete an impressive 5-1 home stand. In many ways, this moment is the high point of the season for The Mets.

June 1

Scherzer pitches well as the Mets sweep the Philadelphia Phillies to improve to 30-27 on the season. That series victory will be the last the Mets earn for a month.

June 8

The Mets drop their sixth game in a row, losing 13-10 to Atlanta to complete an embarrassing sweep to the Braves where they led by at least three runs in every game. To make matters worse, Pete Alonso was injured in this series after getting hit on the wrist by Charlie Morton in the second game.

June 13

For the second time this season, a Mets’ pitcher is ejected for sticky substance usage when Drew Smith is tossed before throwing a pitch in the first game of the Subway Series. The Mets lose the opener before salvaging a split with a win the following day.

June 25

The Mets’ bullpen melts down in Philadelphia, coughing up a three-run eighth inning lead as Buck Showalter relies on lesser relievers as they lose 7-6 to the Phillies. David Robertson is left in the bullpen as Showalter was trying to save him for the ninth.

July 6

The Mets get eight shutout innings from Carlos Carrasco to complete a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a six-game winning streak. The run comes to an end in San Diego as the Mets drop their final two games of the first half to hit the All-Star Break at 42-48.

July 10

Alonso participates in the Home Run Derby for the fourth consecutive edition. Things don’t go well for Alonso as he is eliminated in the first round by Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez.

July 27

The Mets beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 but the headline is the team’s decision to trade Robertson to the Marlins during a rain delay. The deal netted two low-level prospects for the organization, kicking off a frenzied few days of speculation involving deals.

July 28

Scherzer pitches well to defeat the Nationals but airs his grievances in the media after the game, noting he wants to have a conversation with the front office about the direction of the organization. The Mets trade Scherzer to the Texas Rangers less than 24 hours later in exchange for top prospect LuisAngel Acuna.

August 1

The Mets trade Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros for outfield prospects Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford. Tommy Pham and Dominic Leone are also sent out as the team trades six players and a boatload of cash away to rebuild their farm system.

August 12

Rock bottom is reached again as the Atlanta Braves pummel the Mets 21-3 in the first game of a doubleheader. Showalter runs out a AAAA lineup and infielder Danny Mendick gives up the final eight runs as Atlanta runs up the score.

September 1

Ronny Mauricio makes his major league debut and rips a loud double as the Mets beat the Seattle Mariners 2-1. The electric hit is part of an exciting month for Mauricio, who shows flashes of brilliance down the stretch.

September 12

Word emerges that the Mets will hire David Stearns to be their President of Baseball Operations at the end of the season. Stearns, who held the same title with the Milwaukee Brewers and got his start in baseball with the Mets’ organization, is introduced shortly after the conclusion of the season.

September 26

The Mets suffer more embarrassment after leaving the field uncovered during a tropical storm, forcing them to postpone the opener of a series with the Marlins. The grounds crew worked for hours to try and make the field playable but were unsuccessful in their efforts.

October 1 Showalter announces he will not return as manager following the season. The decision came from Stearns, who wanted to hire his own manager upon taking the job.

October 5 Just days after sitting in the front row of Stearns’ introductory press conference, General Manager Billy Eppler resigns. Word emerges that the team is under investigation for improper use of the injured list and Eppler steps aside to make things cleaner for Stearns in his transition.

November 8

The Mets officially hire former Yankees’ bench coach Carlos Mendoza to succeed Showalter as their manager. Mendoza’s hire comes as a bit of a surprise as most media members linked the team to Craig Counsell, who left the Brewers to go to the Chicago Cubs instead.

December 1

The Mets sign starting pitcher Luis Severino to a one-year deal worth $13 million to fill a hole in their starting rotation. To date, this has been the biggest move of Stearns’ tenure thus far.

December 22

After a strong pitch to Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the Mets are left with coal in their stocking after he signs with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a 12-year deal worth $325 million. The offer is the exact same as New York’s but Yamamoto reveals in his introductory press conference he was planning to end up in Los Angeles well before the start of his free agency.

While 2023 was certainly eventful, the Mets are certainly hoping for a calmer and more successful 2024. Time will tell how successful they are but the team is clearly hoping 2023 is their worst year for a while.

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