NEW YORK — The Mets added injury to insult on Wednesday.
The team was eliminated from postseason contention and also lost All-Star Jeff McNeil for the remainder of the year due to a fractured bone in his right wrist.
McNeil suffered the injury when he was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning. He went down in pain, and immediately came out of the game. The Mets ultimately beat the Marlins 10-3.
The 27-year-old McNeil, who played a variety of positions on the diamond and proved to be a potent contributor at the plate, will finish 2019 with a .318/.384/.531 slash line along with 23 homers and 75 RBIs in 133 games.
“He’s our ‘Squirrel.’ He’s awesome,” first baseman Pete Alonso said of his close friend McNeil. “It sucks, but I know he’s going to come back with a chip on his shoulder — stronger than ever — and have a helluva season next year, too. That’s the type of player he is.”
Embattled manager Mickey Callaway met with his team after the game and thanked them for fighting to the end. Callaway was nearly fired in May. And the Mets were a season-worst 11 games under .500 in July.
But they managed to get back in the NL wild-card race before falling short of a playoff berth with four games remaining in the regular season. The Mets were officially eliminated when the Brewers beat the Reds to clinch the final NL postseason spot.
“I guess now the fat lady’s singing,” Alonso said. “It’s unfortunate.”
Callaway’s future is unclear. He’s heading into the final year of his contract, and looked overmatched at times. GM Brodie Van Wagenen could elect to make a change and hire his own skipper after inheriting Callaway.
“I think that I’m the right guy to lead that team in there, and I will do that to the best of my ability,” Callaway said.
Van Wagenen came into his new job confidently, with his infamous declaration “Come get us.” But the Mets weren’t able to back up their GM’s words, wasting incredible seasons from McNeil, Alonso (51 homers) and deGrom (2.43 ERA).
Alonso and deGrom are the overwhelming favorites to capture NL Rookie of the Year and NL Cy Young honors, respectively.
DeGrom (255 strikeouts in 204 innings) would become the first pitcher in franchise history to win the award in back-to-back seasons. He ended the 2019 campaign by throwing 23 consecutive scoreless innings — including seven on Wednesday. But the Mets have gone just 14-18 in consecutive seasons when deGrom takes the mound.
“That would mean a lot, it’d be a huge honor,” deGrom said.
Alonso, meanwhile, is one homer away from matching Aaron Judge (52 in 2017) for the single-season rookie record.
Still, the team was unable to overcome its regrettable front-office moves and shoddy bullpen.
Van Wagenen traded four top prospects — Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson — in exchange for Edwin Diaz (5.59 ERA, seven blown saves), Robinson Cano (.746 OPS) and Marcus Stroman (3.86 ERA), a trio that hasn’t lived up to expectations. Free-agent signing Jeurys Familia (5.90 ERA) also struggled.
The Mets had two pitching coaches (Dave Eiland and Phil Regan) and also dealt with Yoenis Cespedes’ injury fiasco in which he fractured his ankle after stepping in a hole at his ranch.
Now, it’s on to 2020.
“When we finally put it together for 162 (games), it’s gonna be scary,” Alonso said.
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