Mets manager Buck Showalter Credit: Wikipedia All-Pro Reels

The Mets ended the regular season with 101 wins, tied for the third most in Major League Baseball. So did the Atlanta Braves. It is why the Mets had to play San Diego Padres in a National League wild card matchup beginning two days after their final regular season game instead of a five-day bye.

After being stunningly swept by the Braves three games in Atlanta Oct. 1-3, the Mets surrendered the NL East lead and tie-breaker, and finished second in the division despite having the second best regular season win total in franchise history, behind only the 108 victory 1986 team, which won the World Series.

Their collapse continued versus the Padres, as they went down shockingly without much resistance in the best-of-three series at Citi Field in Queens, their home stadium. The Mets lost Games 1 and 3, dominated in the closeout contest on Sunday 6-0, unfathomably being held to just one hit over nine innings.

“They flat out beat us,” said Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, summarizing his team’s dismissal.

Padres starter Joe Musgrove threw seven of them. He was in command all evening and didn’t lose his composure even after Mets manager Buck Showalter had the umpires check him in the bottom of the seventh for illegal substances as his ears were conspicuously shiny. He was found to have no illegal enhancements, just superior pitches to the Mets’ ailing bats. It was as disappointing a conclusion as Mets fans could envision for a team that was in sole possession of first place in their division for 175 of the 182 days of the regular season dating back to April 7.

Mets starter Max Scherzer was rocked for four home runs in a 7-1 Game 1 defeat and Chris Bassit took the mound in Game 3 with an opportunity to lead the Mets to the next round—the National League Division Series—but lasted just four innings, giving up three runs and three hits.

“I would say more so I beat myself,” assessed Bassit. “It’s a terrible, terrible feeling,” is how he described his emotions of the Mets being sent home for five long months of reflection and retooling before they return for spring training in February.

Jacob de Grom gave the Mets a chance to win the series as he went six innings allowing just two earned runs with eight strikeouts as the Mets captured Game 2 on Saturday by 7-3, forcing the decisive meeting the following night. Instead it is the Padres who are playing the top seeded Los Angeles Dodgers.

“It’s raw,” said Showalter. “It’s just cruel, time like this because I feel for the players cause they put so much into it and were such a special group.”

A group that fell short of the fans and their own expectations.

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