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Mets make third straight World Series appearance in our 1990 simulation

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 1991: Howard Johnson #20 of the New York Mets poses prior to a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in September 1991 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 1991: Howard Johnson #20 of the New York Mets poses prior to a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in September 1991 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images)
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Welcome to the 1990 virtual New York Mets season where the team is ready to make yet another push for a championship.

On season after winning 110 regular-season games and falling in the World Series, the New York Mets go into the 1990 season with optimism yet again. Although the chance for a dynasty appears to be wrapping up, who says this franchise can’t win one more championship?

The Mets have gone to the playoffs plenty in the latter part of the 1980s. We’re in a new decade now and hoping to continue the trend.

Before we head into the 1990s, let’s remember how past Mets seasons went:

1962: 52-108
1963: 43-119
1964: 44-118
1965: 50-112
1966: 56-105
1967: 64-98
1968: 74-88
1969: 93-69
1970: 101-61 (NLCS loss 3-2)
1971: 100-62 (World Series Champions)
1972: 80-76
1973: 83-77
1974: 72-90
1975: 75-87
1976: 88-74
1977: 78-84
1978: 68-94
1979: 64-98
1980: 65-97
1981: 34-69
1982: 69-93
1983: 64-98
1984: 83-79
1985: 98-64 (NLCS loss 4-3)
1986: 90-72
1987: 95-67 (NLCS loss 4-3)
1988: 99-63 (World Series Champions)
1989: 110-52 (World Series loss 4-1)

In what will be Darryl Strawberry’s final year in Flushing, the Mets will look to capture one more championship.

Preseason Predictions

Unlike recent seasons where the Mets were preseason favorites, the predicted standings have them finishing third with a 91-71 record. The NL East is expected to have four teams above .500 with the Pittsburgh Pirates leading the way and Montreal Expos a few games behind them.

Darryl Strawberry is expected to hit 30 home runs and the rotation has some notable preseason predictions as well. Dwight Gooden and Sid Fernandez are both slated to win 16 games with ERAs below 3.00. David Cone also cracked the top ten of the preseason with an 11-11 record and 2.81 ERA.

As for actual preseason results, the Mets didn’t inspire much confidence in their fans with how they played in spring training. The cub had an NL East worst record of 10-20. Fortunately, this rarely translates into how the team does in the regular season. We’ll have to hope this stays true.

Regular Season Results

Mets fans begin the 1990 season with their October schedules clear, hoping for another trip to the postseason. It won’t be easy. The Pirates have a young slugger named Barry Bonds coming off an MVP season that he will look to add to in the coming years.

The NL East included an incredibly tight race in the first half. Only the St. Louis Cardinals seem to have taken the year off from competing.

When the All-Star Break rolled around, the Mets sat in first place with a 49-29 record. It was 1.5 games better than the Pirates.

The virtual Mets were in good shape for the second half with quality pitching leading the way and some solid offense to back it up. It didn’t take them long to build upon their lead.

As all seasons do, this one eventually came to an end. And when it did, there was one team atop the NL East with a 103-59 record. Lucky for us, it was the reigning pennant-winning New York Mets.

Let’s party like it’s 1990—the Mets are going back to the playoffs.

Playoffs

The virtual Mets are four wins away from their third trip to the World Series in a row. First, they will need to go through the San Francisco Giants.

The Mets outscored and outpitched everyone in the regular season. Their NLCS opponent finished third in runs and fourth in runs against. At 96-66, they are the underdog in this series.

Enough pretext. Let’s play ball!

Game 1: Looking for redemption from last year’s poor postseason, Sid Fernandez gets the start in the opener. It takes extra innings to get it done, but the Mets come away victorious 3-2.

Game 2: David Cone and the bullpen help take down the Giants in Game 2 with a 1-0 victory. The Mets are on cruise control as they head over to San Francisco.

Game 3: Let’s blame this one on jetlag. The Mets drop Game 3 by a score of 4-1. They are still ahead, though. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Game 4: The Mets offense is getting shut down by the Giants. They drop this game 5-0. A quick look at the offensive numbers, only two players are hitting above .250 in the series so far.

Game 5: From out of the bullpen, Bob Ojeda earns the Game 5 win and Ron Darling gets the save. Finally, the bats have woken up with a 7-5 victory. Let’s head back to Shea.

Game 6: By a score of 5-1, the Mets take Game 6! A pair of home runs by Gregg Jefferies help them advance.

David Cone wins the NLCS MVP Award with 14 shutout innings and 14 strikeouts. He was far from perfect but a pair of victories and a lackluster offense made him an easy choice.

The Mets are doing what they have the last two years, visiting the World Series.

World Series

The Mets nearly had a rematch of the 1988 virtual World Series but the Toronto Blue Jays dropped the series to the actual opponent, the Seattle Mariners.

This Mariners team went 91-71 in the regular season, finishing 10th in runs scored and tying for second in runs against. Our beloved virtual Mets are by far the favorite in this series.

Game 1: The first game goes to the Mariners with a 6-3 win. We can blame a blown save by John Franco for this loss.

Game 2: The Mets are no match for the Mariners again in Game 2. They lose this one 4-1. What has happened to this offense?

Game 3: Finally, the Mets get to host a game. They put their playoff ace, David Cone, on the mound to start. Despite three solo home runs, the Mets lose 4-3. The loss goes to Wally Whitehurst. The Mets are down 3-0. Oh the humanity!

Game 4: There is now no room for error. The path to staying alive will have to go through Mariners pitcher Randy Johnson. Sadly, in a 9-3 blowout, Seattle wins it. For the second straight year, the Mets lose in the World Series.

That’s it. Game over. Ken Griffey Jr. is a World Series MVP and it’s only 1990. Darryl Strawberry’s time in New York ends with a 1 for 14 performance in the World Series.

I need to wash out my ears, eyes, and mouth.

Honors

Darryl Strawberry’s talent and popularity got him back in the starting lineup for the NL in the 1990 All-Star Game. The Mets sent him some company with Dwight Gooden, Bob Ojeda, and Frank Viola joining him on the trip.

Strawberry walked and scored a run in the game while the pitchers helped the NL win 7-0. Gooden pitched 1.1 scoreless innings with Ojeda adding in a perfect frame of his own.

This season included a lot of winning, but not many awards. Strawberry won his sixth Silver Slugger. He had one particularly excellent game when on August 16, 1990, he hit 3 home runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Another big game came on July 20 when Sid Fernandez struck out 15 Atlanta Braves. The last time any other pitcher had a 15K game was when he had one in September of 1988.

Notable Individual Statistics

The Mets got their usual awesome pitching from the starters. Frank Viola led the team with 19 wins while Dwight Gooden posted the best ERA at 2.43. David Cone won 16 games with Sid Fernandez finishing the year with 18.

The Mets got to see their first taste of John Franco in the closer role and couldn’t have been happier with the regular season results. Franco saved 33 games while posting a 1.96 ERA.

From the plate, we have a few notable numbers to talk about. Gregg Jefferies set a new franchise record for batting average. He finished the year hitting .333.

Darryl Strawberry smashed 39 home runs with Howard Johnson not far behind at 37. Strawberry’s time with the organization will end with 292 dingers, about a season’s worth more than he hit in real life.

The RBI lead on this team was shared by Strawberry and Kevin McReynolds. Each drove in 115, falling four short of the 119 set by The Straw in 1987. HoJo also reached triple-digits with 106 of his own.

Next. Mets 1989 Season Simulation

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The season included some fat statistics, plenty of wins, and no parade. Strawberry is headed west but that doesn’t mean the 1991 season will end after 162 games. The virtual Mets still have talent and I’m looking forward to the coming season.

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