Coming off a down year in 2003, the virtual New York Mets are looking to get more help from their young bats in our 2004 season simulation.
The virtual New York Mets are coming off of one of their worst years yet in 2003. In a division with the greatest regular-season team of all-time (2003 Florida Marlins) and another 100-win club (Atlanta Braves), they didn’t stand a chance.
The outlook for the future should be better. It seems as if we will get to see more of David Wright at third base and reigning Rookie of the Year Jose Reyes at shortstop.
First, let’s recap the glory and the disappointment from each season prior.
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 climb back to .500 baseball or will they remain in the basement for another year?
Things aren’t looking too sharp for the 2004 Mets. The preseason prediction has them going 74-88. It’s better than 2003 but not nearly enough to get them to glory.
There was a positive outcome from spring training. The Mets weren’t steamrolled by the opponent, finishing 14-16. There isn’t much correlation between these results and how the regular season will go. At the very least, the team has some potential.
Let’s see how things go.
Regular Season Results
The Mets stayed alive in the first half of the season in what looks like a tight race in the NL East with the exception of the last-place Montreal Expos. They may need to settle for a Wild Card to have a shot at the postseason.
At 43-44, the club is off to an okay start but not nearly where we would like to see them. It may be another year of settling for a Wild Card spot. After last season, it would be a refreshing change.
The Mets were able to slightly outplay their first-half pace down the stretch. In the end, the division and Wild Card were too far out of reach. The team finished 82-80; better than expected yet not anywhere close to banner worthy.
A pair of Mets were selected to the All-Star Game. Mike Piazza was voted in as the starting catcher with outfielder Cliff Floyd representing the team as a backup outfielder.
Piazza went 2 for 3 in the game while Floyd went hitless in his two trips to the plate.
That does it for the honors. No Mets won any major awards and none had a featured game performance. In a year with some nice statistics for the offense, it’s a shame we didn’t have any hardware handed out.
Notable Individual Statistics
Mike Piazza is definitely showing signs of aging in this simulation. His .292 batting average was a nice addition but he hit only 24 home runs and drove in 90. These are fantastic for a catcher at any age or ability but not what we’re used to seeing from this all-time great.
David Wright had his first really good year. In 406 at-bats, he hit .313 with 20 home runs and 51 RBI. Jose Reyes shook off the possibility of a sophomore slump with a .328 batting average, 11 home runs, and 61 RBI to go with his 44 stolen bases. We also got a .319 batting average and 20 home runs from Cliff Floyd.
Offense wasn’t the problem for these Mets. Pitching clearly was. Al Leiter was easily their top starter with a 14-7 record and 3.65 ERA. Midseason acquisitions Kris Benson and Victor Zambrano fell short on expectations. Although they pitched better with the Mets than their former clubs, neither was able to help push this team into the postseason.
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The virtual Mets have a bright future ahead of them on offense, but the pitching has been the weak point for several years now. In 2005, I expect the club to compete even harder. We’ll see you in 2005.