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Mets blown out by Nationals in final game of season

Curtain drops on 2020 season, Wilpon era in ugly fashion.

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

One day after being officially eliminated from playoff contention, the Mets saw their strange 2020 season come to an end in humiliating fashion. Sunday’s 15-5 defeat at the hand of the Nationals was a bitter, perhaps fitting coda to a disappointing season—and the Wilpon era.

The Mets actually got off to an early lead in the top of the first Sunday afternoon. After Brandon Nimmo led off the game with an infield single, Pete Alonso—finally flashing his 2019 form over the last week of the season—followed with a long home run to left field. The good news for the Mets would be short lived.

Seth Lugo did not look sharp in the first inning, allowing a leadoff double to Andrew Stevenson, who came around to score on a Yadiel Hernandez sacrifice fly. Lugo would escape the frame with the lead intact, and the Mets got the run back in the top of the second when Guillermo Heredia led off with a home run, making the score 3-1. But the Mets lead—and Lugo—would not survive the bottom of the frame.

Five of the first six batters reached in the inning, ending Lugo’s day after 1.1 innings. All five would ultimately come around to score, as Chasen Shreve came on and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Yan Gomes, before getting the Mets out of the inning staring at a 6-3 deficit.

If the second inning was tough for the Mets, the third was an absolute disaster. Brad Brach started the frame and faced three batters—walking each of them. Brach was relieved by Steven Matz, who promptly walked a fourth straight batter, then surrendered a grand slam to Trea Turner. Matz surrendered another home run to Gomes two batters later for good measure, as the Nationals topped their five run second inning with six more in the third, turning the game into a 12-3 laugher.

With the game effectively over after three innings, the Mets and their fans did endure one more painful inning, as Dellin Betances surrendered three walks and a pair of hits in a an ugly sixth inning. Alonso—perhaps the only Met sad to see the season end—added a second home run of the game (16th of the season) in the top of the seventh to plate New York’s final run of the season.

The Mets ended the season 26-34, tied with the Nationals for last place in the National League East, an incredibly disappointing result in a season in which half of the teams in the league will participate in the 2020 postseason. As 16 teams will fight for a championship in this truncated baseball season, the Mets and their fans will turn their (baseball) attention towards an eventful offseason, as the team’s new ownership looms over its future.

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Box scores

Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Pete Alonso, +12.7%
Big Mets loser: Seth Lugo, -47.7%
Mets pitchers: -62.9% WPA
Mets hitters: +12.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso two-run home run in the top of the first, +14.5% WPA.
Teh sux0rest play: Andrew Stevenson two-run double in the bottom of the second, -18.1% WPA.