New York Mets News

Mets History Simulated: The kids on the 1965 squad provide some hope

NEW YORK - CIRCA 1970: Pitcher Jerry Koosman #36 of the New York Mets pitches during an Major League Baseball game circa 1970 at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City. Koosman played for the Mets from 1967-78. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - CIRCA 1970: Pitcher Jerry Koosman #36 of the New York Mets pitches during an Major League Baseball game circa 1970 at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City. Koosman played for the Mets from 1967-78. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /
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It’s 1965 for the virtual New York Mets and some of the kids are beginning to make their MLB debuts including one pitcher who could become a future star.

It’s year two at Shea Stadium for the virtual New York Mets. We can only hope in the fourth year of the franchise, we have a different ending. Most notably, fewer than 100 losses.

After two historically bad years in 1963 and 1964, virtual fans can only hope for better results this time around.

Can the good times roll into Flushing a little sooner than they did in real life or will the 1965 Mets give us another year to forget?

Preseason

We begin spring training with the Mets predicted to have the worst year of all in 1965. The experts have them prepared to go 40-122 this year. If so, there’s going to be plenty of heartache again.

The preseason didn’t add much to help change this narrative. If there’s one positive takeaway, it’s the performance of Ron Hunt.

Hunt is a rising star with the Mets. His .368 batting average in the spring was one of the best. Let’s see if he can carry it over into the regular season.

Regular Season Notes

The regular season began with the Mets limping out of the gate with a record of 1-11. Once again, the early hole looked insurmountable.

There would be no amazing winning streak in the first half to make up for it.

When the All-Star Break arrived, the Mets held a 21-64 record. Needless to say, it was the worst in the major leagues and put them 37 games out of first place.

Yet again, they’re one of the worst teams in a variety of numbers. One area they are improving at is defense. Halfway through 1965, they’re sixth in the National League.

Despite another early elimination from the playoffs in August, the second half included more winning. It wasn’t glamorous, but the season ended with a 50-112 season. The .309 winning percentage is now the second-best in team history.

If there’s one final positive to take away from the team’s performance, the 4.31 ERA is the best in Mets history thus far.

Honors

Ed Kranepool is the lone Mets representative at the All-Star Game. It’s a well-deserved honor for the first baseman currently hitting .285 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI. Each of these Triple Crown numbers leads the roster.

In the All-Star Game, Kranepool knocked an RBI single to put the National League ahead 3-2. The NL would go on to win the game 4-3 thanks to Kranepool’s single.

The Mets didn’t do much else to get on the honor board. We’ll have to wait another year for the hat tips.

Notable Individual Statistics

Kranepool’s .280/.340/.411 slash line was the notably best offensive output by anyone on the team. Hunt’s .276 batting average was the second-best. The rest of the offense did little to help the team put runs across the plate.

Fortunately, we did see a few younger players get regular playing time. Ron Swoboda and Cleon Jones are both earning playing time with the club and should be around for 1966 in larger roles.

On the pitching side of things, the story had a few more bright spots. Despite Jack Fisher’s 8-25 season, there were two standout pitchers. Let’s get to know Jerry Koosman and Tug McGraw—whoever those two kids are.

Koosman made only two starts but made 29 relief appearances. He ended the year 7-1 with a 2.30 ERA. I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t have the number one spot in the rotation next year.

Meanwhile, McGraw made 13 starts and another 18 relief appearances. He gave the Mets a 5-6 season with a 3.69 ERA.

We still haven’t had a Mets pitcher win 10 games in a single-season. I have a feeling next season is the year we do.

Next. 1964 Mets season simulated

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Next up, we go into the 1966 campaign.

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