Sixty-nine victories. That’s all the pythagorean W-L was supposed to be for the 2015 New York Mets. Right now, the Mets have 70 wins. Guess math doesn’t always have the answers. It’s not as if the Metropolitans have a team loaded with superstars either. They simply have gone out, played good baseball, done the little things, and since the start of August, have played and beaten the teams on their schedule. Couple that with a miniature collapse by the most-talented team in the National League East–the Washington Nationals, and the Mets find themselves up 6 1/2 games with just over four weeks to go in the regular season.
Think about this for a moment: the team has ONLY two players in their regular, everyday lineup that has hit 20 or more home runs. One of those players–Yoenis Cespedes, didn’t hit all of those in a Mets’ uniform. The strength of the Mets in 2015, is their young group of starting pitchers, led by reigning National League Rookie of the Year, Jacob deGrom. Along with him, Matt Harvey, who is the oldest of the group, along with Noah Syndergaard, form one of the youngest, most potent rotations in all of baseball. After their Thursday night game against the Phillies, one in which is in extra innings as of this writing, there are 35 games left on the schedule. The Nationals have won six of their last nine, and their past three series.
The Mets have taken New York City, and the baseball world by storm. They’ve stolen the thunder from their cross-town rival, New York Yankees, who are struggling through the month of August, and have yielded first place in the AL East to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Mets, led by little Terry Collins, are playing smart, effective baseball, and unless they completely collapse, they are in the driver’s seat to win their first division title since 2006, when they lost a heart-breaking National League Championship Series in seven games to the eventual World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
For those naysayers that say the Mets aren’t legit, and that they beat up on the rebuilding teams of the NL East in Atlanta and Miami, they have respectable records against several of the projected postseason teams in 2015. They are 3-4 against the Cardinals, 3-3 against the defending champion San Francisco Giants, 4-3 against the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-2 against the Toronto Blue Jays, and 1-2 against the Yankees. However, it is not all sunshine and rainbows, nor is this Mets’ team the ’98 Yankees by any means. Against Pittsburgh, they are 0-6, and against the Cubs, an ugly 0-7. Respectable in some sense, but deplorable in others. What it makes, is an interesting story of rebuilding on next to no budget, but talented enough, and hot enough right now (18-8 in August) to knock off anyone they may face in a Divisional Series or League Championship Series match-up. The Mets will try and win their first title since 1986, and believe it or not, they just might. October in New York could be very exciting, and could include both Big Apple teams for the first time in a very long while.