The New York Mets provided the ideal showcase for a burgeoning trend in Major League Baseball last night when they got absolutely ripped by the Washington Nationals. In the eighth inning, trailing, uh, 19-1, the Mets made the call to the bullpen and put Jose Reyes on the mound. There's been a lot of chatter about the increasing use of position players in lopsided games so as not to burn through the bullpen, but there was something perfect about this player and this team and this monumental drubbing.
15 pitches into Reyes's appearance, it was 21-1. Soon thereafter it was 24-1. When it got to 25-1, the Mets sent out pitching coach Dave Eiland to talk to Reyes who, we should clarify at this point, is not a pitcher.
Reyes final line? 1 inning pitched, 5 hits, 2 home runs, 6 earned runs, and two walks (no strikeouts). He threw a 49 MPH pitch, and plunked Ryan Zimmerman (who should actually be embarrassed with himself for not getting out of the way).
In the grand scheme of things, a loss is off course just a loss. They all count the same, no matter the final score, but on a day when several teams made themselves better, and others, like their hosts, doubled down on their team's chances to win now, the Mets doubled down on being the Mets. They did not make any moves at the deadline even though everyone is dying for starting pitching, and then turned in an absolute stinker of a performance against a division rival that's been dealing with it's own organizational dysfunction.
To have Jose Reyes on the mound as it concluded, was just the very Mets-iest way to cap it off. Once the face of the franchise along with David Wright, the Mets let Reyes walk in free agency, only to pick him back up on the cheap a few years later after he was charged with domestic violence when he allegedly grabbed his wife by the throat and threw her against a sliding glass door in a Maui hotel. Now, past his prime and utility, Reyes is still on the team because the club feels so highly of him they want to give him a proper send off into the sunset. And also maybe eat up some innings, apparently. His person and career are a reflection of the Mets whole organizational deal: promise and hope, miserly ownership, gross vibes, and now just a sort of wandering and perpetual sense of bafflement.
Reyes eventually ended his night by retiring the Nationals 19-year-old breakout star, Juan Soto.
Here is how their eighth-inning showdown went: Soto doubled after a ten-pitch battle and later scored on a Matt Adams home run.
(That home run was reviewed, by the way, in case you wanted to know what Hell looks like, it's a 19-1 game where a past-his-prime shortstop is pitching and the umpires stop the game to review a home run that makes it 21-1.)
Later in the inning, Reyes got Soto to fly out for the final out of the inning.
This was the worst loss in New York Mets history.