Six. It’s the number of times the New York Mets have won the National League East crown. 60. The number of seasons the Mets have played as a franchise. Some quick math would tell you that the ratio of division titles per decade isn’t very good.
However, the other 54 years weren’t all bad. The Mets have had six instances in which they won at least 90 games but failed to get over the hump, forcing them to either settle for a Wild Card spot or miss the postseason entirely.
For most of the 2022 season, we’ve heard the term “different” get used quite often. Many Mets fans believe that this team is different, in a good way, from the rest. Finding ways to win games that they usually wouldn’t, beating teams that they have bad track records against, and putting up numbers that we haven’t seen since 1986, all are reasons to believe that this club truly is different. So why should one little three game losing streak wash all of that away?
1) NY Mets shouldn’t panic about winning the NL East because they continue to show resilience
The Mets have had multiple seasons where they have had a division lead entering the final two months of the season but let it slip away, most recently in 2007, 2008, and 2021. In each of those three seasons, the Mets suffered multiple losing streaks of five games or more.
This season, the Mets have never lost more than three straight. The ability to not let things spiral out of control has helped the Mets remain in first place for as long as they have (since April 12th, to be exact). Just when things start to look bleak for the Amazins, they have found a way, time and time again, to right the ship, just as they did on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, sweeping a doubleheader against the Pirates.
It also helps knowing that this time around, every 5th day you’re going to see Jacob deGrom take the ball and head to the mound. It’s something that the Mets missed so much during last year’s stretch run.
2) NY Mets shouldn’t panic about winning the NL East because they still have a very easy schedule in front of them
We learned the hard way last weekend that any and every team at the major league level is tough to beat. But knowing that the Mets, in their final 24 games of the regular season, will play 18 of them against teams that are at least 20 games under .500 has to make you feel pretty confident.
New York this season has an incredible 48-21 record against teams below .500 and will get plenty of opportunities to improve that record throughout September and even into early October.
3) NY Mets shouldn’t panic about winning the NL East because the Braves' schedule is much tougher
During this final month, the Mets will get to play struggling teams like the Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Oakland Athletics. While that’s happening, the team trying to steal the division crown from New York, the Atlanta Braves, will play the Mariners in Seattle and the Philadelphia Phillies seven times. The Braves, in 2022, are just 27-30 against teams above .500 so it’s completely reasonable to think that they won’t remain as hot as they currently are against their upcoming opponents.
The New York Mets have played terrific baseball for 138 games. It’s why they’re 36 games over .500 and it’s why they’ve been in first place for 149 days straight. Being a Mets fan comes with great caution due to past heartbreaks, but if you don't believe that this is the Mets get over that hump, then will you ever? Tug McGraw said it nearly 50 years ago and it still stands true to this day. Ya gotta believe.