New York Mets: Saturday’s disastrous doubleheader against Braves is nail in coffin

If it was not over already, being outscored by division rival Atlanta 27-3 in a Saturday doubleheader all but ended the New York Mets’ season.

Did the Atlanta Braves drive the final nail into the 2023 coffin of the New York Mets?

Even with the extra player permitted for a doubleheader, the New York Mets needed a position player, Danny Mendick, to complete the last four outs of a 21-3 game one drubbing. Mendick was tagged for eight earned runs, including two home runs, before the top of the ninth was mercifully ended.

After the two losses, the Mets have fallen to 52-65, nine games out of the final Wild Card spot, and a brutal 2-8 record in their last 10 games. Things have gotten so bad for the Mets that Denyi Reyes, who has already been designated for assignment once this season, was called up to start game one. Reyes surrendered five runs on eight hits and four walks in just 4.2 innings. Reed Garrett was called upon to relieve Reyes, and promptly allowed six runs in 2.1 innings of work. These two are far from the marquee names that graced the Mets’ roster entering the season.

Game two was much of the same, where the bullpen surrendered five runs in three innings of work after Jose Quintana fired six strong innings, allowing one earned run. This time, the offense faltered big time, striking out nine times, and totaling just five hits.

A quick scan of the Mets’ starting lineup shows no hitters with a batting average above .260, with Brandon Nimmo leading at a .258 clip. Outside of Pete Alonso (35 home runs), Francisco Lindor (22 home runs), and Francisco Alvarez (21 home runs), there are no true power threats in this lineup to supplement the lack of batting average.

Trading away Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Tommy Pham brought back potentially useful pieces of the next Mets playoff team … but clearly that will not be the 2023 season. Prior to the deadline, FanGraphs ranked the Mets’ farm system as the 20th-best in baseball. Now, after the deadline, the Mets’ system ranks 11th in FanGraphs’ farm system rankings, the second highest jump post-deadline.

While this season is a lost cause, the close future is bright in Queens. Owner Steve Cohen did a great job of charting a new course just as things seemed bleakest.