The New York Mets had themselves one rough Tuesday as a disappointing season continued.
After trading three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers over the weekend, the Mets sent Justin Verlander – another three-time Cy Young winner – to the Houston Astros on Tuesday, the organization that Verlander helped to win two World Series titles.
Hours after the trade, the Mets lost in brutal fashion, falling in extra innings to the Kansas City Royals as pitcher Josh Walker balked home the winning run.
Walker was the third pitcher of the inning for the Mets and ended the game without throwing a pitch.
“I didn’t have a PitchCom in my ear,” Walker explained. “Álvy [catcher Francisco Alvarez] didn’t have communication. Basically, I was trying to relay that to him. When I went to step off, my foot was kind of in the footprint of where guys had been throwing and my knee buckled a little bit before I stepped off.”
Walker was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse earlier in the day.
“It was very technical. But you’ve got to step off there,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said, according to the New York Daily News.
The 7-6 loss dropped the Mets to 50-56 on the season and seven games back of the final Wild Card spot in the National League.
It’s been a wildly disappointing season for the Mets who entered the year with sky-high expectations after going on a spending spree during the offseason.
Scherzer said Mets GM Billy Eppler and owner Steve Cohen told him the team was focused on building more toward the future than next season before being traded to the Rangers.
“I talked to Billy,” Scherzer said to The Athletic. “I was like, ‘OK, are we reloading for 2024?’ He goes, ‘No, we’re not. Basically our vision now is for 2025-2026, ‘25 at the earliest, more like ‘26. We’re going to be making trades around that.’”
“I was like, ‘So, the team is not going to be pursuing free agents this offseason or assemble a team that can compete for a World Series next year?’ He said, ‘No, we’re not going to be signing the upper-echelon guys. We’re going to be on the smaller deals within free agency. ‘24 is now looking to be more of a kind of transitory year,’” Scherzer said.
The Mets have not been above .500 since June 3 and are 18.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.