The 5 worst moments of the 2023 Mets season

Jeff Brigham was at the center of one of the Mets' worst losses of the season
Jeff Brigham was at the center of one of the Mets' worst losses of the season / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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3) The rubber game implosion in Philadelphia

Full disclosure: I was at this game, and I'm still angry about it.

My mom and I drove down from New York to see the Mets play in Citizens Bank Park for the first time. For much of the afternoon, it was a wonderful experience. The stadium was great, the Phillies fans were surprisingly non-homicidal, and we enjoyed cheesesteak and ice cream from the right field seats as the Mets scored in five consecutive innings on their way to a 6-3 lead.

Then everything unraveled. Josh Walker came on in the eighth and gave up two walks and a single. Buck Showalter then opted to bring in Jeff Brigham over the more established members of his bullpen, and things went haywire.

Brigham induced a soft ground ball that should have been, if not a double play, a force at second, but Brett Baty morphed into an unholy chimera of Mackey Sasser and Chuck Knoblauch, double-clutching his throw to Jeff McNeil before yanking it right of the second base bag.

How do I put this? Brigham didn't exactly handle the error well, walking a run in and drilling two Phillies to give up the lead for good. The Mets got the leadoff man on in the ninth, but never advanced him as Craig Kimbrel closed the door.

This may have been the Mets' worst loss of the season, because it was completely self-inflicted. With their best relievers languishing in the bullpen, the Mets made the Phillies bystanders to their own victory, and the resulting two-game swing could loom large when the Wild Card chase is all said and done.