Mets hopeful the rebuild is near the end in our 1982 season simulation
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets are nearing the end of their rebuild phase in our 1982 season simulation.
Coming off a shortened season due to the players’ strike, the virtual New York Mets are approaching the end of the early stages of the 1980s without much to feel proud about. We’re still awaiting the arrival of some future stars from other squads.
The only bright spot is the Mets do have some young talent with some major league experience under their belts. Hopefully, soon enough, it results in some winning baseball.
Right before we jump into the 1982 simulation, let’s recap past Mets seasons:
1970: 101-61 (NLCS loss 3-2)
1971: 100-62 (World Series Champions)
Will the 1982 virtual Mets surprise us with some winning baseball? It’s a longshot.
The preseason predictions for the 1982 virtual Mets has the team going 60-102. If this is how the year goes, it will be the first time since the early days of this simulation where the club has dropped triple-digits.
I’m not going to put much stock into how the spring goes. If you remember, the Mets had the best record in the division in 1981 spring training action and went on to finish dead last.
This year, spring training ended with the team owning a 14-16 record. I’d be grateful if the Mets are able to finish anywhere near .500 in this year’s simulation.
Regular Season Results
Following a strong start to the regular season, the Mets quickly slipped back to .500 and below. You would never know they held first place after about two weeks with their midseason record of 34-53.
At the break, Dave Kingman does have 18 home runs so we may be able to watch him set a new franchise record. Wally Backman is also among the stolen base leaders and is the proud owner of a .308 batting average. Interestingly enough, Backman has 6 home runs this year. In real life, he hit 10 in his entire career.
A special rookie named Dwight Gooden has also joined the organization. At the time of the All-Star Break, he has finally worked his way into the rotation. His early spectacular performance out of the bullpen has promoted him to start every fifth day. I’m predicting a Rookie of the Year season for Doc.
Clearly not bound for the playoffs, the Mets played out the second half hoping to build up some chemistry and maybe set some fat numbers on the stat sheet.
Although it was a bad year, the Mets finished above expectations. They went on to avoid 100 losses, finishing the year 69-93.
Despite a poor record, the 1982 Mets sent two players to the All-Star Game. Pitcher Mike Scott and his 5-6 record with a 2.54 ERA awards him with the first trip of his career. At second base, the Mets will also see Wally Backman represent the orange and blue. He’s also a first-timer.
Scott finished the game out of the bullpen, recording the last two outs. He didn’t get the save, however, in the 6-3 National League win.
At the plate, Backman went 2 for 2 with an RBI. He played shortstop rather than second base which showed off a little bit of his versatility.
In the second half, Hubie Brooks had a 22-game hitting streak which fell one shy of the franchise record set by Cleon Jones in 1969.
The Mets managed to snag one major award in 1982. For his glovework in left field, George Foster took home the first Gold Glove of his career.
Notable Individual Statistics
Dave Kingman had one of the more memorable offensive campaigns, smashing 31 home runs and driving in 73. As he did in real life, George Foster was a disappointment. He hit .245 and knocked 16 home runs. But hey, he won a Gold Glove! We cannot expect him to do everything.
On the positive side of things, Darryl Strawberry hit .281 with 8 home runs and 27 RBI in limited action. Hubie Brooks also had a good year, hitting .308 in his 437 trips to the plate. He ended up suffering a season-ending injury later in the year which took away from his chance to etch his name in Mets history.
Mike Scott continued to lead the team’s pitching all year long. He ultimately ended the year 12-8 with a 2.72 ERA. Jesse Orosco had a 1.95 ERA out of the bullpen while Neil Allen secured 36 saves for the 1982 virtual Mets.
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The good news is the 1982 season marks the end of some dark times in Flushing. Some stars are about to put on the orange and blue and with the 1983 campaign comes the hope of a return to glory for this franchise—or so I’m hoping.