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Mets waste another year of Mike Piazza in our 2002 simulation

CHICAGO, UNITED STATES: Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa slides safely into home on a sacrifice fly to right field by Augie Ojeda as New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza waits for a late throw in the seventh inning 09 April 2002 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Mets 2-0. AFP PHOTO/Tannen MAURY (Photo credit should read TANNEN MAURY/AFP via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES: Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa slides safely into home on a sacrifice fly to right field by Augie Ojeda as New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza waits for a late throw in the seventh inning 09 April 2002 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Mets 2-0. AFP PHOTO/Tannen MAURY (Photo credit should read TANNEN MAURY/AFP via Getty Images)
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The New York Mets waste yet another superb year from Mike Piazza in our simulation of the 2002 season.

A whole generation of virtual New York Mets fans haven’t seen this team go to the playoffs. If the results from our 2001 simulation were any indication, it may take a little longer.

The Mets are in a weird spot in 2002. We know the door is closing but it hasn’t completely shut on their chances. Can this underdog squad outperform some rather low expectations for the year?

As always, let’s recap the records from all past simulated seasons and catch everyone just joining us up on what they may have missed:

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
2001: 76-86

Will the 2002 season bring brighter days? It’s time to find out.

Preseason Predictions

Once again, the preseason predictions aren’t great for the Mets. The team is expected to go 71-91 and finish last in the NL East. None of their players cracked the top ten preseason lists.

Mike Piazza led the NL with 10 home runs and was second in OPS. However, the club had a miserable spring training. Their 8-22 record didn’t get too many people excited about the 162 games to come.

Regular Season Results

The Mets felt buried before the season really kicked into gear. They started off 2-8 while the Atlanta Braves looked to continue their winning ways. They are, after all, coming off of four straight World Series wins.

One of the few highlights from the first half was a 19-game hitting streak from Roger Cedeno. The speedy outfielder is competing for a batting title while Mike Piazza is in the thick of the home run and RBI lead in the National League.

When the first half finished, the club was 39-48. This was 15.5 out of first place and probably a sign that they wouldn’t end the playoff drought.

For a small note about the first half, Jason Bay is the team’s starting left fielder heading into the break. He was actually a Mets farmhand briefly at one point and has somehow managed to climb to the big leagues this year.

The Bay sighting should have been a sign of how the season would go. After the last pitch of the year, which ended with a 3-0 loss versus the Atlanta Braves, the club was 74-87. There’s no getting to the playoffs with that record.

As a non-Mets aside, the Braves finally didn’t win a World Series after four consecutive. The New York Yankees, having not one at all in this simulation that began in 1962, finally did win a ring. Cue the obnoxious fans.

Honors

It was a lonely All-Star Game for Mets fans. Only Mike Piazza made the team. He was voted in to start—something he has done plenty of times in his virtual career. Piazza went 1 for 2 in the game as the AL crushed the NL 10-3.

Piazza also happened to be the lone Met player to leave 2002 with a major award. He won his tenth Silver Slugger.

As far as honors for individual games go, Edgardo Alfonzo hit for the cycle on June 26, 2002. Amazingly, it’s the first time ever a Mets player has done this in our simulation. They’ve apparently swapped no-hitters and cycles in this virtual world.

Notable Individual Statistics

It was a multi-miserable year for the Mets. The offense and pitching stunk.

To no one’s surprise, Mike Piazza was the best producer at the plate. He hit .294 with 32 home runs and 100 RBI. Roger Cedeno did give them a .299 average but that was about it.

Roberto Alomar batted .209 in his 130 games played. Mo Vaughn gave them 21 home runs and a .249 batting average in fewer than 400 plate appearances.

On the mound, Al Leiter was 7-14 with a 3.84 ERA and Steve Trachsel was 7-15 with a 4.65 ERA. Jeff D’Amico was one of their better starters, going 8-4 with a 2.81 ERA in 23 starts.

Mets 2001 Season Simulation. Next

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One thing to note: David Wright and Jose Reyes both made their MLB debuts in this simulated season. Perhaps 2003 will be better than expected.

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