Perhaps the understatement of the century would be to say it's been a bad week for the New York Mets. If you want to expand the timeline a bit, it's been a bad week in a horrible season in a cursed era of Mets baseball, one that dates back to the dawn of the 21st century.

Wednesday was the nadir of the Mets' misery campaign thus far. Early in the day, Edwin Díaz was placed on the 15-day IL. In the first inning, Pete Alonso was hit on the throwing hand and had to leave the game. In the eighth, the Mets gave up six runs to break a 3-3 tie. And the wild afternoon in Flushing was just getting started.

Reliever Jorge López, who participated in the bullpen implosion by giving up a two-run homer to Shohei Ohtani, was ejected from the game for arguing a check-swing call. López then chucked his glove into the stands, made some ill-advised comments on camera that also suffered from the language barrier and was promptly designated for assignment.

It was a day of total catastrophe for the Mets franchise. But it was also far from a new experience. This season and indeed, the entire decade of the 2020s has been rife with public embarrassment. But how have things managed to get this bad, this fast? It's almost too much to sift through, but we'll do our best.

Mets have struggled in every possible way

 New York Mets manager Carlos Mendoza (64) comes to the mound to take out pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning at Tropicana Field
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

However bad the national audience might think the Mets have been during this recent stretch, the truth is somehow worse. New York is now 1-8 in its last nine games and has been outscored by 24 runs in that stretch. They have hit .205 as a team during the slide, but the real albatross has been the bullpen.

Relievers have a 7.07 ERA during the skid and have blown three leads in the eighth inning or later. The Mets don't have a save as a team since May 16 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Every late-game solution manager Carlos Mendoza has failed spectacularly and at any given moment, there's a new culprit to blame.

Díaz has blown his last three save opportunities, plus a four-run lead that didn't even qualify as a save situation. Reed Garrett was given the de facto closer role after Diaz and has since blown a save and picked up two losses. Adam Ottavino has allowed seven earned runs in his last three appearances. And López, of course, is now floating in the MLB ether.

In short, it's all been a fracas. And with Diaz lost for at least the next two weeks, there's little hope of the Mets' internal options plugging the holes in this sinking ship anytime soon.

New York's embarrassing public moments pile up

Losing in and of itself is embarrassing. But as it so often does in the country's largest media market, losing for the Mets usually comes with scrutiny and public flogging. This season, the bad moments have been especially brutal and they've been amassing at an alarming rate recently.

It started with Edwin Díaz reportedly breaking down in tears in the locker room after his blowup in Miami. It's been a horribly frustrating season for Díaz after returning from the injury that cost him all of 2023, but the news of his tears was an unfortunate microcosm of the disappointment everyone involved with the Mets has felt surrounding this season. And it quickly got worse.

The following series, the Mets got into a spat with the Cleveland Guardians after pitcher Triston McKenzie threw at Harrison Bader. Bader seemed to gain the upper hand, taking McKenzie deep in his next at-bat, but of course, the New York bullpen blew the game, allowing a three-run homer to Andres Gimenez, famously dealt to the Guardians in the Francisco Lindor trade.

Then last weekend, Lindor came under fire for his questionable mentality at the plate. During an eventual 7-2 extra innings loss to the San Francisco Giants, Lindor stared at a 3-2 slider from Giants reliever Randy Rodriguez with no intention to swing. He explained after the game that he had already chased two out of the zone in that at-bat and felt his best chance was… to not even try?!

Then, of course, Wednesday. It would have been bad enough to lose another winnable game in excruciating fashion, not to mention the specter of Alonso's injury hanging over the Mets' heads. But López's loss of control sent the incident into a different stratosphere entirely. It was no longer a bad loss, but a low point in Mets history.

Where do Mets go from here?

DFA'ing López was hardly unexpected. According to most of the reporting from Wednesday, the decision had been made before he even set foot in front of reporters. But as analyst Mark DeRosa said on MLB Network Thursday morning, the problem in Queens is “in the walls.”

It doesn't matter who puts on a Mets uniform right now, because the entire composition of Mets baseball has gone sour. The team doesn't have the right personnel or mix of leadership and talent to get the job done. And that's not necessarily a condemnation of any individual player, though many are struggling to perform. It's the collective environment that has coalesced into a losing culture.

So although it might not be realistic, it's entirely possible the only way to fix the Mets is to break them up altogether. Pete Alonso could be traded for a nice haul at the trade deadline. Hardly any of the pitchers are signed long-term save for Díaz and Kodai Senga. And Lindor is a great ballplayer, but it's possible signing in Queens was the worst decision of his professional career.

No one really knows the solution, but it's clear something major needs to change. And as one of the most visible owners in all of professional sports, it's up to Steve Cohen to figure out how to proceed from here.