The Mets have 17 games left in the regular season.
At this point, it seems more likely they’ll be playing out the string than making a push toward the playoffs.
That’s especially true after they were manhandled by the Orioles in an 11-2 loss on Tuesday night in Queens.
Their lineup was shut down by a starting pitcher who might even have a hard time cracking the Mets’ battered starting rotation. And Michael Wacha delivered yet another subpar outing in the latest loss at Citi Field.
And the night only got worse in the eighth, when Robert Gsellman had to be helped off the field with two outs with an unspecified injury.
By then, though, the outcome of the game was hardly in doubt.
After an easy first inning, Wacha allowed a leadoff single to Pedro Severino in the second. He struck out Ryan Mountcastle before DJ Stewart belted a two-run homer to right to give Baltimore a 2-0 lead.
The Mets got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Jake Marisnick took O’s starter John Means deep to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Wacha gave up a second two-run shot in the third, this time with two outs to Mountcastle to make it 4-1.
Baltimore added on in the fourth, with some help from the Mets defense.
Pat Valaika led off with a liner to deep center that Marisnick tracked down, but the ball glanced off his glove for a two-base error. After moving to third on a groundout, the Orioles went up 5-1 when Valaika scored on Cedric Mullins’ triple to right-center.
Meanwhile, the Mets’ bats were mostly silent against Means, whom the Mets just tagged for four runs in 5 ¹/₃ innings last Wednesday in Baltimore.
On Tuesday, Means limited the Mets to just the one run on three hits in six innings — even retiring 11 in a row at one point. Wacha, on the other hand, allowed five runs — four earned — in just four innings.
And his replacement, Gsellman, was no better, allowing six runs in 3 ²/₃ innings.
He took over to start the fifth and was shelled for four runs — including a three-run homer from Rio Ruiz.
It was the fourth straight win by Baltimore, who arrived in Queens fresh off three consecutive victories over the Yankees at Camden Yards.
The latest loss comes on the heels of the Mets defeat on Monday at the hands of the Phillies, when the Mets wasted a late comeback, and lost in 10 innings.