Welcome to New York City, three-time Cy Young winner (including last season) Justin Verlander!
During the future Hall of Famer’s first start at Citi Field in Queens, the 40-year-old was booed off the field as the New York Mets lost to the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 8-5, which dropped their record to 20-23.
oh my god the Mets fans booing Verlander at the end of the inning pic.twitter.com/LMT8HLUm8c
— tommaso (@sillynous) May 17, 2023
Heading into the season as expected World Series contenders, the Mets are one of the most disappointing teams in the league thus far this season, especially when considering their payroll. At the time of this writing, they sit fourth in the NL East, ahead of only the Washington Nationals.
Clearly already frustrated with their poorly performing team, Mets fans let the team have it on Monday night with a chorus of boos that the players and manager actually seemed to understand.
“I understand the fans are frustrated; we’re frustrated, too,” Verlander said to reporters after the game. “We expect to be better. I expect to be better. I think this entire organization expects to be better, and there’s only one thing left to do, and that’s put your head down, work hard and find your way out of this slump.”
"I understand the fans are frustrated. We're frustrated too. Everybody's frustrated. We expect to be better. I expect to be better. I think this entire organization expects to be better."
Justin Verlander on hearing boos at Citi Field: pic.twitter.com/G4cKErVy9F
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 17, 2023
“People come out here and want to see the Mets win, want to see us do well, and they get frustrated just like we do. I understand that, but we control it every night. They want us to do well. We control that. Play better and that won’t happen. That’s part of playing here when you’re doing something that’s very important to people,” manager Buck Showalter added.
Of the Mets’ many current failings, the starting pitching staff is certainly at the top of the list, as their top two arms of Verlander and fellow former Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — who have a combined age of 78 years old, by the way — have collectively made just eight starts this season.