The 2009 virtual New York Mets have talent but not much else surrounding those important pieces.
The theme for the 2008 virtual New York Mets may have been “too little, too late.” The Atlanta Braves blew a huge lead to the Philadelphia Phillies and the Mets finished a hair behind each of them.
We have now reached the 2009 season in our simulation of the club’s history. Although there are some pessimists, the team still has a chance to be good.
First, let’s recap how past Mets seasons have gone:
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)
2005: 97-65 (NLCS loss 4-1)
2007: 89-73 (World Series 4-2 loss)
Is this the year the Mets return to the playoffs and make good on their 2007 World Series loss? Let’s get into it.
The preseason predictions suggest this could be a productive year for the Mets. Their record is at 84-78. It would be good enough to finish second in the NL East but well behind the stacked NL West where the Wild Card may come from.
No players are in the preseason top ten so it’ll have to be a team effort to get to the postseason.
From spring training action, we don’t get a completely positive look at what this team can do. The team finished 15-15 and had several players, namely David Wright and Jose Reyes, finish among the top in hitting. Pitching will be the real challenge for this 2009 Mets club. Can they overcome?
Regular Season Results
The Mets struggled early, but by the time mid-May rolled around they were right in the thick of the NL East race which seems to include everyone but the Atlanta Braves—the team expected to win it all in the preseason.
Daniel Murphy and David Wright were among the early batting leaders with the former making people talk about a potential .400 batting average season.
Unfortunately, as the All-Star Break approached, the Florida Marlins pulled away from the rest of the division with a 9+ game lead on everyone else. The Mets were included in the NL East teams that faded with a midseason record of 38-49.
The second half of the season seemed to only have some individual player successes to watch. This was indeed the case as the Mets were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in mid-September. The club finished the year at an underwhelming 69-93.
Four Mets were selected to the All-Star Game. David Wright and Carlos Beltran were voted in. Jose Reyes and Daniel Murphy got the nod as reserves.
Only Wright and Beltran actually played in the game and they didn’t have any of the three hits the National League mustered up in their loss.
Wright was the lone Mets player to take home any hardware. He won his fourth Silver Slugger.
Also of note, Jose Reyes had the lone 6 hit game of the year in 2009. On June 7, he had 6 of them against the Washington Nationals.
Notable Individual Statistics
Daniel Murphy had one of the best seasons on the team. His .344 batting average was just five points shy of a batting title. By a single point, it’s also the best any Mets player has had in a single-season.
As if that wasn’t enough from Murphy, he also led the team with 99 RBI.
David Wright had yet another impressive season. He hit .328 with 27 home runs and 77 RBI. Jose Reyes added a .337 batting average into the mix with Carlos Beltran pounding 22 home runs and driving in 85.
Finally of note, Jeff Francoeur hit .304 with 15 home runs and 82 RBI.
Offense wasn’t the issue with this team. Pitching was. Mike Pelfrey was the only starter to reach double-digit wins with 11. Johan Santana was 9-11 with a 3.77 ERA. The team’s weakness was obvious. They have a good offense, but not enough of it. Pitching was nearly absent.
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The year was a forgettable one for this virtual Mets ball club. I’m curious how much longer their window for winning will be. The team has some promising offensive players but not much help from the mound. What will the 2010 simulation bring?