You can finally put the final nail in the coffin of the New York Mets’ 2019 season.
Needing to win their last seven games — while hoping the Washington Nationals and red-hot Milwaukee Brewers forget how to play baseball — the Mets lost their series opener to the lowly Miami Marlins on Monday night.
That was the hammer blow.
Staring down the barrel of elimination allows every team to reflect on its season.
This has been one of the Mets’ more successful campaigns over the last decade — which tells you how mediocre things have been outside of 2015.
While the New York Yankees took half a season to rebuild a couple of years ago, the Mets take decades to build a playoff contender. Not a World Series contender.
But even the frugal Wilpons and the inept managing of Mickey Callaway can’t take away numerous bright spots from this season (more on that tomorrow), suggesting that the Mets do, in fact, have a contending foundation built for the future:
1) Pete Alonso is a star. The clear frontrunner for National League Rookie of the Year continues to topple records that have already made him a Mets legend.
He holds the Mets franchise single-season records for home runs (50 as of Tuesday night), total bases (335), and extra-base hits (82).
He also set the National League record for most home runs in a season by a rookie and is just two away from tying Aaron Judge’s all-time MLB mark of 52 set back in 2017.
The Mets have never had a power bat like this and all signs point to him becoming the next captain of the franchise.
2) Alonso led a home-run barrage that has never been seen around Flushing.
The Mets set a single-season franchise record in home runs hit (232 entering Tuesday) and saw five players hit 20 or more round-trippers in the same year for the first time ever:
Pete Alonso: 50
Michael Conforto: 31
Jeff McNeil: 23
Todd Frazier: 21
JD Davis: 20
3) McNeil and Davis have quickly developed into two of the teams’ most valuable talents — adding high-average, composed bats in a game predicated on slugging.
While McNeil has experienced a minor second-half swoon, he leads the team with a .316 batting average and a .384 on-base percentage while sitting second only to Pete Alonso with a .531 slugging percentage.
Davis, who was acquired from the Houston Astros for mid-tier prospects over the winter, is slashing .306/.369/.515.
This is the first time since 2011 that the Mets could have two players bat over .300 in the same season. Eight years ago, Jose Reyes won the NL batting title with a .337 batting average while Daniel Murphy batted .320.
4) Jacob deGrom remains one of the best pitchers in baseball and is the favorite to win a second-straight NL Cy Young Award.
The 31-year-old has been plagued by a lack of run support as evidenced by his 10-8 record. Yet he still has a top-three ERA in the league at 2.51 while he leads baseball with 248 strikeouts.
He’s been a beacon of consistency in a pitching staff that continues to fail to meet expectations.
5) Amed Rosario took another big step in meeting the high standards placed on him a few years ago when he was the organization’s top prospect.
After batting .248 and .256 in his first two MLB seasons, the 23-year-old shortstop has found his stroke.
After a slow start in 2019, Rosario has slashed .321/.352/.458 in his last 83 games. If he continues to build on this season, the Mets have their franchise shortstop for the next decade-plus.
Imagine if this team had a real manager and bullpen?
Like I said earlier, though, more on that tomorrow.