In 2009, the Mets were fresh off back to back seasons of historic September collapses, causing them to watch the playoffs from the couch. Despite the collapses, GM Omar Minaya was still confident his team was a World Series contender.
To bolster the team’s chances, he added relievers J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez to eliminate the bullpen problems which haunted the team in previous seasons. Led by ace Johan Santana and rising superstar David Wright, The New York Post predicted a 94-68 record for the Mets and an appearance in the NLCS. Despite the high hopes many had for them, the Mets failed to make the playoffs for a third straight year and finished with a 72-90 record.
If you go by record alone, this year’s team is worse than the 2009 one at the break.
In the first half of the season, the 2009 Mets went 42-45 and were sitting 6.5 games out of both first place and the Wild Card. As mentioned before, at the break this year, the Mets have a record of 39-47 and are 12 games back of the division leading Nationals and 10.5 in the Wild Card standings.
Considering five players that were in the Opening Day lineup have seen time on the DL this season, 8 games below .500 maybe isn’t so terrible. This is without even mentioning Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Seth Lugo have all seen extended time on the disabled list this season as well. Oh, and Hansel Robles decided to take a massive step backwards from his first two major league seasons and have a 6.23 ERA in 21 relief appearances.
Combine all of the above with what has been some of the worst starting pitching in baseball, mismanagement in the bullpen, and a Mets lineup that at times still struggles to score runs and you get a team in disarray. If you told me in February that all of this would happen, I would’ve guessed there’d be a lot fewer than seven teams with a worse winning percentage than the Mets.
Then again, I don’t think the 2009 Mets were expecting Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado to play a combined 143 games that season. And that’s with Beltran playing 81 games, meaning Reyes and Delgado were basically non factors for the team.