Mets experience a tale of two seasons in our simulation of 1992
By Tim Boyle
The virtual New York Mets had one really good half and one really bad one in our 1992 season simulation.
After making it to three straight World Series and coming away with one parade, the virtual New York Mets took October of 1991 off. We’ve now reached the 1992 campaign with the team looking a little weaker than it did a season prior.
The offseason did have some big news. Bobby Bonilla signed with the Mets but maybe even better for virtual fans, Tom Seaver went into Cooperstown. He joins Jerry Koosman, the first player to wear an orange and blue cap into the Hall of Fame.
As we do each time, let’s remember how past Mets seasons have gone before we begin this simulation:
1970: 101-61 (NLCS loss 3-2)
1971: 100-62 (World Series Champions)
1985: 98-64 (NLCS loss 4-3)
1987: 95-67 (NLCS loss 4-3)
1988: 99-63 (World Series Champions)
1989: 110-52 (World Series loss 4-1)
1990: 103-59 (World Series loss 4-0)
Can the Mets turn things around or will a new streak of missing the playoffs begin?
Oh, boy. If the preseason predictions are correct, we’re in for a tough year. The Mets have a record of 74-88 heading into the spring. This could get ugly.
Eddie Murray is the lone Mets player listed among the top ten hitters or pitchers. The new first baseman is predicted to hit 28 home runs while slashing .295/.350/.482. Amazingly, for the first time in a long time, none of the pitchers get their name listed.
Spring training standings didn’t tell us much about this team. At 15-15, they were right there with everyone else. Each NL East team finished within two games of each other. Let’s see how things go in a longer stretch when the starters play all nine innings.
Regular Season Results
In the early part of the season, the Mets were looking pretty, pretty, pretty good. On May 1, they were in first place by a game. The NL East was tight, though, with every team right in the thick of the top spot even through the end of the second month of the season.
Unfortunately, things began to level off and the Mets saw their record fall. Before the All-Star Break, they did have a surge. At the end of the first half, the Mets were 48-40 and just a half-game behind the Chicago Cubs.
The second half set up to be a battle between the Mets, Cubs, and Pittsburgh Pirates. For the 1992 simulated Mets, it wasn’t meant to be. They were passed by the Montreal Expos and left buried in the NL East early on down the stretch. In the end, they finished 76-86 behind everyone in the division except for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The virtual 1992 Mets sent a couple of players to the All-Star Game. Three are either new to the team or has become an everyday player since last year. Bobby Bonilla was voted in as the starting right fielder. He was accompanied to the game by catcher Todd Hundley and pitchers David Cone and Bret Saberhagen.
Saberhagen helped the NL get out of a second inning jam by recording two outs. Cone pitched a clean third inning complete with a pair of strikeouts.
At the plate, Bonilla was 1 for 2 with a single. Hundley got his first big All-Star hit, an RBI double against Dennis Eckersley. Unfortunately, it’s wasn’t enough to help the NL make a late comeback in their 4-2 loss.
First baseman Eddie Murray had one of the biggest games of the year, knocking three home runs versus the Cincinnati Reds on September 5. Pitcher David Cone had an impressive game himself when on June 26 he struck out 15 batters. He was the only pitcher to have a 15 strikeout game all year.
Notable Individual Statistics
There were certainly some weird numbers in our 1992 simulation. Let’s mention some bad ones first.
Dwight Gooden went 13-14 with a 4.86 ERA. It’s the first sign of his decline. Bobby Bonilla also ended up having a pretty miserable season, finishing with a .251 batting average and 16 home runs. Perhaps the most surprising statistic of all comes from the bad of Eddie Murray. Although he reached 3,000 career hits, he knocked only 12 home runs.
As for the good, Bret Saberhagen did go 13-10 with a 2.45 ERA. Other than that, none of the numbers get me too excited.
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We’ve re-entered some very dark times for this virtual organization. Just as it did in real life, I do not expect the simulated Mets to climb out anytime soon.