Photo: Patrick Smith (Getty)

It is obviously not so simple as this, but when a team, especially one as desperately crummy as the New York Mets, decides to stand pat at the trade deadline, the front office (or perhaps ownership, in this instance) is saying to fans and to the players, “This is fine.” Is this fine? Mere hours after the deadline passed, the Mets went out and lost to the Nationals by a score of ass-whooping to 4.

25-4! What a game. This one was 19-0 after five, and 25-1 after eight. Do you want to see the highlights, such as they are? Strap the fuck in.

Every Nationals starter, including starting pitcher Tanner Roark, scored at least two runs. Every Nationals starter, except Matt Wieters but including Roark, had at least two hits.

The Nats’ 25 runs were the most in franchise history, and the most in MLB since that immortal 30-3 Rangers win over Baltimore in 2007. This was the biggest margin of victory in Nationals/Expos franchise history. It was also the biggest margin of defeat in the history of the Mets, a franchise with a lot of losses and a lot of big losses.

“We have got to do better than that,” said manager Mickey Callaway of a 21-run loss.

Elias Sports Bureau, do you have anything for us, preferably requiring the mention of two teams no one’s ever heard of?

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This game was really something.

Jose Reyes pitched! And got shelled:

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Shawn Kelley threw a tantrum after allowing the Mets to creep back within 21:

Update: Kelley has been DFA’d.

This happened:

It got so out of hand, Mets television announcers Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and Gary Cohen took turns reading verbatim from the team’s media guide in the late innings — the SNY network played the theme from “Masterpiece Theatre” in the background.

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It is hard to read anything into a single-game pummeling, but given the principals, it is hard not to. Remember, last month these same Nats held a testy players-only meeting then turned around and beat up on the Marlins—then slid right back into mediocrity. After deciding not to sell off their myriad free-agents-to-be, Washington is now .500 and five games back of both the division and the second wild card spot. “Any team needs games like that,” Ryan Zimmerman said the 25-4 laugher, but let’s wait and see if the Nationals can actually string some wins together against teams that aren’t the Mets.

The Mets, oh, the Mets. Could they have even made big deadline deals if they wanted to? Their GM is on medical leave, and they have three assistant GMs, which is basically like having no one at all in charge. Ownership clearly doesn’t have a plan in mind beyond “save money.” Before the game, John Ricco, one of the assistant GMs, said the Mets plan to compete next year, which is why they didn’t trade any of their starting pitching in what was clearly a seller’s market. So, yes, the Mets as you see them on the field, did not get any worse at the deadline. But the Mets of the future did not get any better, either. This is fine, the braintrust signaled. And then they went out and lost 25-4. Let’s stipulate that any team could conceivably give up 25 runs on any given night. Let’s also note that only the Mets did.