There was not a happy ending to the 2023 season, as it was announced that Buck Showalter would not manage next year before the game and then the final outing of the season resulted in a 9-1 loss to the Phillies Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. But maybe that’s the ending this season deserved.

It was a close game early, with Jose Butto allowing just 2 ER in 6 IP. He left with the game a 2-1 Phillies lead. But stop me if you heard this one before but the bullpen came to the mound toting gas cans, as Denyi Reyes allowed 5 ER in 2.1 IP, while Anthony Kay served up 2 ER in 0.2 IP, including a 3-run homer.

Butto finishes the year with a 3.64 ERA in 42 IP. In his last five games, Butto allowed 10 ER in 27.1 IP, good for a 3.29 ERA. He also had 9 BB and 28 Ks in that span. He should be in the running for a depth starter or bullpen piece for 2024.

It was another game to forget for the hitters, who managed just two hits on the day. Their only run came on a solo homer by Tim Locastro, who finished the year with a .703 OPS. The Baby Mets went 1-12, with a single by Ronny Mauricio.

DJ Stewart went 0-3 with a strikeout. He finishes the year on a 3-34 (.088) stretch, with 15 KS.

It’s weird to think that Showalter will not be back next year. He showed everyone in 2022 that the in-game moves that a manager makes in the heat of the moment have a real impact on wins and losses, a million times more important than charming the media in press conferences. Showalter had more than a few faults. But hopefully no Mets fan will ever again fall for the con that communication is the most important job of a dugout skipper.

17 comments on “Gut Reaction: Phillies 9, Mets 1 (10/1/23)

  • NYM6986

    With Stearns arriving there was a good chance that he’d want to name his own manager. I liked Buck and thought he tried to make this team be better prepared. It certainly was a different type of year in 2023 but then you think that just 10 more or so wins would have had us in a wildcard game. What is it that makes Eppler not the next to go, as after all he engineered some deals that def didn’t work. Another nice game by Butto and agree there is a spot for him. The Stearns show is up next and I’m all ears.
    Thanks for a season of nightly recaps Brian. It was a ton of fun.

  • TexasGusCC

    I, too, want to thank you Brian for the Gut Reactions and opportunities to express our feelings about the games, but also having Chatter access if we wanted to talk about the game while we watch it.

    Can’t say it was a surprise that Showalter is gone and if you want to read a thorough piece about why he needed to go, John Harper has it on

    As for the game, the Mets played with the same amount of emotion as they did on August 2; none. In fairness, four or five names in the starting lineup won’t be there next year on opening day.

  • Dan Capwell

    I will be 64 on OD 2024 and have been a Mets fan since 1971, and yesterday it dawned on me that this “Steve Cohen era” is just the next chapter in what has become a long line of the disasters that I have witnessed in those now 52 years of fandom.

    Like the Jets selling their fanbase on the next GM or HC, we will now be hearing all about the genius of David Stearns. Yeah, his record in Milwaukee is certainly better than anything the Mets did over the same period, but where are the pennants? Oh yeah, he had payroll constraints. That has a familiar ring to it. Remember Sandy v1 and “Moneyball with Money?”

    This is a bad team. In the three years of Cohen they have gone sideways at best. They have five guys on the 25-man that could hold the same spot on any of the division winner’s rosters. As I think I read on this site recently, the “Baby Mets” have been bad, even when compared to other rookies in MLB this year. And in typical fashion, they won a bunch of meaningless games at the end of the year and screwed up their chances to draft higher, But then again, they’d probably mess that up anyway.

    The problem with this team is something that goes back for decades: a combination of trying to do more with less while simultaneously trying to appear to be the smartest people in the room, and when that didn’t work, they would make these gaudy panic moves that only set the team back even further. Cohen was supposed to be different, but he has made almost all of the same mistakes that Jeff Wilpon did.

    Sell the team.

    • TexasGusCC

      Trying to do more with less…. You mean, the payroll wasn’t high enough, he was too cheap?

      • Dan Capwell

        The “do more with less” is more of a Wilponian thing.

        What the Cohen-era Mets have proven without a doubt is that money can win off-season headlines, but that is about it. Having a good front office and a good player development system is IMO worth $100M in player’s salaries. The Mets were behind the curve on both when Cohen took over and the argument could be made that they have fallen even further behind since. Just look at how much better Atlanta, Philly, and even Miami have gotten since 2021.

        Name me one positive improvement with the Mets in that same time. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

        • TexasGusCC

          The Mets hav a pitching lab now.

          The Mets fired player development people that have been in place for more than Cohen has owned the team. Some of the over a decade. Yes that’s slow movement, but it happened.

          The Mets have put cameras all over the stadium to get many pictures of the action. Don’t know what that does, but I read a while ago that Houston had that at Minute Maid park.

          The Mets have now started to scout the levels below A+ ball and we’re able to get some well regarded prospects for Robertson and Pham. In fact, in, they put Jeremy Rodriguez as their fifth best prospect in the DSL and said it was highway robbery that the Mets got him for Pham.

          I’m not a defense attorney for Cohen, and I really think he made many mistakes wanting to win ASAP, such as trading PCA for Baez, and letting Eppler flush money down the toilet in stupid deals like the Gott trade, but it certainly appears that he’s trying.

          • Dan Capwell

            Well, my mother is 98 and I had an aunt who lived to be 108!!! So as a comparative “Spring Chicken,” maybe I have time to see another pennant that these improvements will bring.

            I just have to cut out the sky diving.

          • ChrisF

            I agree Gus. Look Dan, Rome wasnt built in a day. What he bought for 2.4 billion dollars was a clunker woth a 99$ paint job. Sure, it looked all shiny in the sun, but it really needed an overhaul.

            Its not possible to do that overnight, even though Cohen tried to. Money does not necessarily buy pennants or WS championships. The very things that you decry, Cohen is fixing. He has wanted Stearns to run baseball from the get go – now done. He has rebuilt the stadium with a fortune of cash. He has done unprecedented things with fan appreciation. And he is building all the player development thinks like the pitching and hitting labs, and committed to rebuilding the farm system to avoid all the catastrophic mistakes the draconian Wilpon’s made. Its all coming.

            • Dan Capwell

              So then, what has happened to the “win a World Series in 3 to 5 years” that we heard at Cohen’s first presser? I guess that’s just more bombast from these offseason gab-fests that the Mets lead the league in.

              This organization has become adept at moving the goal posts. But the cold facts are that since on November 12, 2020 (the day Cohen made those remarks), Alonzo, Nimmo, and McNeil are three years older, not one pitching prospect has made a significant contribution, there have been three managerial changes, three playoff games (with two losses) and $210 million in dead money paid out.

              The Cohen era has been a disaster. But, now we are to trust this “baseball genius” from Milwaukee who can win a weak division and once took the vaunted Dodgers to six games. We are
              also supposed to place our trust into these prospects, most of whom are at least one more season away. The hype around them reminds me of the hype around Baty, Vientos and Mauricio about this same time two years ago.

              I’m not buying any of it. I think it is far more likely that Cohen puts the team up for sale in the next 2-3 years than the Mets actually play in the World Series.

              • Metsense

                101 win season is a success.
                Playing in the playoffs is a success.

                • Dan Capwell

                  That 101-win season is ancient history now. It must be, or you would clearly remember the choke job they did at the end of it.

                  They have two, probably three holes in the rotation. No one in the minors is ready, and I have learned the hard way never to bank on September results, which makes Lucchesi, Megill, Peterson, and Butto more suspects than prospects.

                  They have three third basemen, none of whom can really play the position. They have a gimpy right fielder and no real leftfielder. And then there is the bullpen.

                  The Cohen era has been an unmitigated disaster so far. David Stearns should drop a bomb on this entire organization and start over.

                  • ChrisF

                    It looks like we have a new Mayor of Panic City!!

                    I pass the key to the city on to you!!

                  • José Hunter

                    Excellent contribution, Dan

                    I wouldn’t say the Slippery Steve Era has been an “unmitigated disaster” but I’ve been far more dubious of the “excessive exuberance” which is the rough average at Mets360

              • ChrisF

                He sure spent the money to try to make that happen. It was naive. Money alone does not buy a WS in baseball like it could in football or basketball.

                I think you might be looking at 5 years from now, but nothing is scripted to make that happen. But bringing in Theo and Maddon to Chicago turned them into a WS winner. Will it happen in NY? Cant say, but I like the process. And that will increase the odds.

                I would say there is zero percent chance Cohen will sell the Mets in under 20 years, or more.

  • T.J.

    I echo the thanks for the recap efforts that keep a brutal season providing entertainment and prompting though and good discussion.

    This game was quite representational of 2023. I have mixed feelings on moving on from Buck, but I agree with Cohen’s take that the new guy gets to decide who fills that seat.

    • Steve_S.

      I agree! Buck was very good in 2022, but he stubbornly stuck with the vets (Escobar, Voggie, et al.) and let some games get lost by the backend of the pen (given to him by Eppler).

      Eppler will be kept for awhile to negotiate with Yamamoto and Ohtani, but I can see him out after this year.

      I’ve got mixed feelings about Pete. I would sign him, but not for 9 or 10 years. His fWAR was about the same as Alvarez’s this past year!

  • BoomBoom

    Thanks for all of the coverage and conversation through another tormenting season. For mental health reasons I had to disengage a bit over the Summer. I found myself being too irrationally and emotionally affected by the Mets this season and it was carrying over into my relationships, my family etc. I guess it’s true what Ted Lasso says – “it’s the hope that will kill you”.

    Here’s to better times ahead and to an offseason debating whether we should sign Ohtani or not and who the better managerial choice will be…Counsell or Beltran?

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