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Mets playoff drought continues through our 2001 simulation

21 Sep 2001: A gigantic American Flag is hung outside Shea Stadium as the Mets play the Atlanta Braves tonight in the first major sporting event in the New York area since the World Trade Center Disaster. Mandatory Credit: Ezra Shaw/ALLSPORT
21 Sep 2001: A gigantic American Flag is hung outside Shea Stadium as the Mets play the Atlanta Braves tonight in the first major sporting event in the New York area since the World Trade Center Disaster. Mandatory Credit: Ezra Shaw/ALLSPORT
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The simulation of the 2001 New York Mets saw the team head in the wrong direction.

It was a rough ending for the 2000 virtual New York Mets. Al Leiter and Mike Piazza suffered major injuries that should carry over into the start of the 2001 season. The team failed to even make it to the postseason, instead settling for another above .500 yet disappointing year.

Hopefully, with a year more of experience, the team can turn things around in 2001.

Let’s first take a look back at how past Mets seasons have gone and catch everyone up:

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)
1990: 103-59 (World Series loss 4-0)
1991: 84-77
1992: 76-86
1993: 80-82
1994: 43-70
1995: 74-70
1996: 74-88
1997: 89-73
1998: 88-74
1999: 92-70
2000: 85-77

How much longer will this window for winning stay open? Stay tuned for below.

Preseason Predictions

Do you want the good news or bad news first? I’ll go with the bad news because there isn’t much good.

The preseason predictions have the Mets set to go 69-93. It doesn’t take a math whiz to realize this will be far below what is needed to make it to the postseason. The loss of Al Leiter and Mike Piazza at the start of the year is going to hurt this franchise in the standings.

Actual preseason results didn’t tell a different story. Aside from Edgardo Alfonzo and Jay Payton putting up some awesome numbers with the second and third-best batting averages, it was a poor spring for the Mets. The team went 9-21. Oh, boy.

Regular Season Results

I’m going into this 2001 season with the bar set real low. Now more than a decade since the team even made the playoffs, I fear the worst for the next few years.

The Mets actually got off to a good start and at one point in late-April, they held first-place. It didn’t last long. Quickly, they faded out of contention.

The team went into the All-Star Break with a 36-53 record and 14.5 games out of first place. The team is last in all offensive categories and have only gotten 22 games from Mike Piazza who has finally returned from injury. If there is one surprise, Todd Zeile came out of retirement and has joined the team.

With little hope of a major turnaround in the second half, I’m not quite sure what was on the mind of the virtual Mets fans in this fake world other than watching a home run chase between Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds.

The season came to a close with the Mets sitting at 76-86. Although better than the Montreal Expos, it was far from good enough to make the postseason.

Honors

The Mets sent a pair of pitchers to the All-Star Game. Closer Armando Benitez and starter Kevin Appier both god the nod. At 6-5 with a 2.51 ERA, Appier had enough leverage to earn the start in the All-Star Game.

Appier pitched a clean first inning and Benitez earned the save despite giving up a run in his 1.2 innings of work.

The Mets had two award winners at the end of the season. Appier won the Silver Slugger for pitchers and Edgardo Alfonzo won his second at second base. In this virtual world, I still haven’t figured out how they decide on pitcher Silver Slugger numbers because Appier hit just .062.

Notable Individual Statistics

For some non-Mets numbers, there were some huge home run seasons on the diamond in our 2001 simulation. Three players hit more than the 62 dingers Sammy Sosa launched in 1997—a record until now. Sosa and Alex Rodriguez both hit 65 and Juan Gonzalez settled with 62. Barry Bonds, however, managed to outslug them all with a new MLB record of 67 single-season home runs.

The Mets didn’t have nearly as fantastic numbers although there were some good ones. Edgardo Alfonzo hit .299 with 18 home runs and 62 RBI. Despite missing a lot of time, Mike Piazza hit .296 with 24 home runs and 57 RBI.

Kevin Appier ended the year 11-12 with a 2.84 ERA. We also saw Steve Trachsel go 11-13 with a 3.12 ERA and Glendon Rusch finish 15-9 with a 2.81 ERA.

The biggest trouble the 2001 Mets ran into was a lack of consistency from top to bottom on the roster. The lengthy absence of Piazza and Al Leiter sure seemed to affect them in the worst ways.

Next. Mets 2000 Season Simulation

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In 2002, the team will come back with a new-look roster. Hopefully, we get better results than the real-life squad.

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