Hardcore Mets fans, seeking hope, persist in comparing the 2015 World Series team to the 2019 Mets. Okay, if you insist, let’s take a look…
Let’s begin with an interesting peek at the 2015 Mets:
Now, let’s juxtapose that with a peek at the Mets 2019 season to date:
Mets 2019 vs 2015 – Parsing Out The Facts
**** The 2015 Mets were never more than one game below .500. Even though, on this date (June 20), the team was in the midst of a seven-game losing streak that would end on June 24. In contrast, the 2019 team reached a point when they fell to five games below .500. Currently, the team is four under.
**** On June 20, the 2015 team had a record of 36-34 and the team was in second place trailing only by a half-game. The 2019 Mets are currently in fourth place with a record of 35-39, and they trail the division leader by a full 8 1/2 games.
****The 2015 Mets had won 36 games by this date. They finished the season with 90 wins, reaching a high of 22 games over the .500 mark on September 27. For the 2019 team to reach 90 wins, they are tasked to win five of every eight games they play from here on in. To put it another way, the 2019 team needs to go 55-33 now thru September.
****The 2015 Mets only faced competition from the Washington Nationals. The Nats all but handed the Mets the Division by going 35-40 over the second half of the season. This included two five-game losing streaks, one in August and another in September. Other than the Nationals, the team next closest to the Mets was the Miami Marlins (71-91), finishing a full nineteen games behind the Mets.
In contrast, the 2019 Mets are looking up at the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies while pretty much staying even with the Nationals. In short, competition in the NL East is more severe that it was for the Mets in 2015. This team must leap over two teams, not just one.
**** The road to the 2019 playoffs as a Wild Card team is even more severe for the Mets. Currently, the team needs to leap over five teams, all with fewer losses, to qualify.
2019 Mets vs 2015 Mets: The Biggest Difference
Without argument, the 2015 team received an early Christmas present on July 31, 2015 when Yoenis Cespedes was traded by the Detroit Tigers to the New York Mets for Luis Cessa and Michael Fulmer.
Cespedes, having been discarded by four teams and labeled as a discontent, became the much sought after lightning in a bottle run producer for the Mets.
Just to give you an idea…in the two months he was with the Mets, Cespedes totaled 17 home runs with 44 RBI. His total bases reached 139 and in September his OPS was a staggering 1.017. (Source: Baseball Reference)
Few would argue against Cespedes being the catalyst for the team’s finish that season and on into a World Series appearance.
A Volatile Situation
You can guess what’s coming next. Where is the lightning in a bottle coming from for the 2019 team? Is there another malcontent out there whose team is willing to take two prospects (then) just to dispose of the player? I can’t think of one.
Nevertheless, we can be assured that Brodie “The Gunslinger” Van Wagenen is thinking along those lines. Mets fans, as well as the team, need a boost – a big one – if the performance of the team thus far is to be erased.
Mets fans are a hearty bunch. Van Wagenen created the mess the team is in this year. From the feedback I get, they’re still hanging in there despite the numbers discussed above.
Thus, Van Wagenen’s leash is shortening by the day to “do something”. Not to mention the already stale taste of the season in the mouths of the Wilpons.
To repeat, this is not 2015. It’s 2019 and this version of this team has bigger challenges ahead than the 2015 team ever had. Like many others, I’ll keep rooting for the Mets. But I sure as hell have a hard time “believing”…
Writer’s Note: Where not indicated, all stats are sourced via Baseball Reference.