- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

54 Over, 80 Under & All Stops in Between

Posted By Greg Prince On May 20, 2014 @ 1:53 pm In 1 | 6 Comments

Some won-lost records just jump out at me. For example, the Mets losing Sunday and falling to 20-23 sparked my recognition that the Mets hit that very same mark 24 years earlier. In 1990 [1], losing and falling to 20-23 presented a platform for firing the most successful manager in franchise history [2].

After guiding the Mets to six consecutive winning seasons, including one that led to a world championship, Davey Johnson was axed at 20-23. It sounds shocking in retrospect, especially when 20-23 today earns the manager a pat on the head from a front office that demands little in the way of actual results. Even in the context of the times — a high-profile Mets team falling well off the pace set by first-place Pittsburgh while playing some legitimately lethargic post-Carter, post-Hernandez ball — it was surprising. You’d think doing nothing but posting winning records from 1984 through 1989 would have earned Johnson a little slack, but those were very different days with very different expectations.

Terry Collins is no Davey Johnson, but these Mets of his find themselves paused at that familiar 20-23 milepost, which marks the first time a Mets club has been three games under .500 since…well, that’s easy. They reached 19-22 just two days earlier. Overall, this team’s nadir to date has been three games below .500, while its peak was four games above .500 right around the moment loyalty oaths were being passed back to the rest of the class. When our boys surged to their thus-far 2014 high point of 15-11, I noticed a few “this is the first time the Mets have been this many games above .500 since…” notes making the rounds.

That sort of thing has to be looked up. For future reference, it can be looked up here, where you will find 135 separate won-lost data points, accounting for every most-recent stop relative to .500 the Mets have made across their long, strange strip: from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs and encompassing every landing spot inside the big, squishy, Metsian middle.

This is all pretty self-explanatory from here, though I will explain that when you see a figure in bold, it’s a season’s final record. And when you follow the trail down far enough, I ask you to fully consider what you’re examining. The next time you are moved to remark that the Mets, at 20-23 or some record whose winning percentage is expressed by a number south of .500 must be the worst team they’ve ever run onto a field, think about what it felt like to root your heart out for a team that had twice as many wins but more than five times as many losses. Because that’s happened in Mets history.

By the same token, soak in the majesty of the upper tier of these listings and try to comprehend, if you didn’t experience it first-hand, just how gratifying winning twice as many games as you lose can be. May it happen to all of us again real soon.

The last time the Mets were ____ was ____ (and their record was __-__)…

54 Games Over .500: October 5, 1986 (108-54)
53 Games Over .500: October 4, 1986-2nd Game (107-54)
52 Games Over .500: October 4, 1986-1st Game (106-54)
51 Games Over .500: October 2, 1986 (105-54)
50 Games Over .500: October 1, 1986 (104-54)
49 Games Over .500: September 30, 1986 (103-54)
48 Games Over .500: September 26, 1986 (101-53)
47 Games Over .500: September 25, 1986 (100-53)
46 Games Over .500: September 24, 1986 (99-53)
45 Games Over .500: September 21, 1986 (97-52)
44 Games Over .500: September 16, 1986 (94-50)
43 Games Over .500: September 15, 1986 (93-50)
42 Games Over .500: August 26, 1986 (84-42)
41 Games Over .500: August 25, 1986 (83-42)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 1986:This is basically what life was like every day for six months if you were a Mets fan 28 years ago.

40 Games Over .500: October 2, 1988 (100-60)
39 Games Over .500: October 1, 1988 (99-60)
38 Games Over .500: September 30, 1988 (98-60)
37 Games Over .500: September 28, 1988 (97-60)
36 Games Over .500: September 23, 1988 (94-58)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 1988:The Mets crested like crazy toward season’s end, so no wonder there is still so much teeth-wringing and hand-gnashing (or whatever) over Scioscia. In my quieter moments I like to revel in how the regular season ended, and then I just mentally cancel the playoffs.

35 Games Over .500: September 13, 2006 (90-55)
34 Games Over .500: September 19, 2006 (92-58)
33 Games Over .500: September 20, 2006 (92-59)
32 Games Over .500: October 1, 2006 (97-65)
31 Games Over .500: September 30, 2006 (96-65)
30 Games Over .500: September 29, 2006 (95-65)
29 Games Over .500: September 28, 2006 (94-65)
28 Games Over .500: September 27, 2006 (93-65)
27 Games Over .500: August 20, 2006 (75-48)
26 Games Over .500: August 19, 2006 (74-48)
25 Games Over .500: August 18, 2006 (73-48)
24 Games Over .500: August 17, 2006 (72-48)
23 Games Over .500: August 16, 2006 (71-48)
22 Games Over .500: August 6, 2006 (66-44)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 2006: Did these gaps by which wins outstretched losses really exist in the Mets’ past decade? This same decade that has stressed mostly heartbreak, heartache and headache? Yes, they really did. 2006 was so great until it wasn’t.

21 Games Over .500: September 12, 2007 (83-62)
20 Games Over .500: September 14, 2007 (82-62)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 2007: If you’re eagle-eyed, you’ll recognize the significance of 83-62. Not only have the Mets not flown so high since, but that was the apogee from which the ’07 edition tumbled into The Greatest Collapse Ever. Or was it The Worst Collapse Ever? We’ll accept both, sadly.

19 Games Over .500: September 19, 2008 (86-67)
18 Games Over .500: September 20, 2008 (86-68)
17 Games Over .500: September 27, 2008 (89-72)
16 Games Over .500: September 28, 2008 (89-73)
15 Games Over .500: August 31, 2008 (76-61)
14 Games Over .500: August 30, 2008 (75-61)
13 Games Over .500: August 26, 2008 (73-60)
12 Games Over .500: August 19, 2008 (69-57)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 2008: The ending at Shea was so absolutely miserable that you wouldn’t have believed that some 5½ years later the numbers it left behind would appear aspirational.

11 Games Over .500: June 27, 2010 (43-32)
10 Games Over .500: July 6, 2010 (47-37)
9 Games Over .500: July 7, 2010 (47-38)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 2010: I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess nobody except for me and maybe two statistically retentive friends of mine remembers how well these Mets were doing for a spell. Their temporarily very good record was built mostly on kicking a handful of dogass opponents while they were down, but that’s what teams with very good records do.

8 Games Over .500: June 3, 2012 (31-23)
7 Games Over .500: July 7, 2012 (47-40)
6 Games Over .500: July 8, 2012 (46-40)
5 Games Over .500: July 13, 2012 (45-40)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 2012: The oasis of false midseason hope, which I suppose was better than no hope at all.

4 Games Over .500: April 29, 2014 (15-11)
3 Games Over .500: May 1, 2014 (15-12)
2 Games Over .500: May 4, 2014 (16-14)
1 Game Over .500: May 5, 2014 (16-15)
At .500: May 13, 2014 (19-19)
1 Game Under .500: May 14, 2014 (19-20)
2 Games Under .500: May 17, 2014 (20-22)
3 Games Under .500: May 18, 2014 (20-23)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 2014: Subject to change. Obviously.

4 Games Under .500: May 10, 2013 (14-18)
5 Games Under .500: May 11, 2013 (14-19)
6 Games Under .500: May 12, 2013 (14-20)
7 Games Under .500: August 11, 2013 (54-61)
8 Games Under .500: August 20, 2013 (58-66)
9 Games Under .500: August 21, 2013 (58-67)
10 Games Under .500: August 31, 2013 (62-72)
11 Games Under .500: September 1, 2013 (62-73)
12 Games Under .500: September 25, 2013 (73-85)
13 Games Under .500: September 26, 2013 (73-86)
14 Games Under .500: September 29, 2013 (74-88)
15 Games Under .500: September 28, 2013 (73-88)
16 Games Under .500: September 19, 2013 (68-84)
17 Games Under .500: September 14, 2013-1st Game (65-82)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 2013: Except for when they inducted Mike Piazza into the Mets Hall of Fame, there was essentially nobody at Citi Field last September. Any wonder why?

18 Games Under .500: September 13, 2009-2nd Game (63-81)
19 Games Under .500: September 15, 2009 (63-82)
20 Games Under .500: September 20, 2009 (65-85)
21 Games Under .500: September 21, 2009 (65-86)
22 Games Under .500: October 4, 2009 (70-92)
23 Games Under .500: October 3, 2009 (69-92)
24 Games Under .500: October 2, 2009 (68-92)
25 Games Under .500: September 30, 2009 (67-92)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 2009: In an era when every lousy year has been pretty much like every other lousy year, the lousiness of 2009 towers above all the sub-mediocrity that’s followed…thank goodness.

26 Games Under .500: September 18, 2003 (63-89)
27 Games Under .500: September 24, 2003 (65-92)
28 Games Under .500: September 27, 2003 (66-94)
29 Games Under .500: September 28, 2003 (66-95)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 2003: A most underrated season in hell, as Met seasons in hell go.

30 Games Under .500: July 28, 1993 (35-65)
31 Games Under .500: August 2, 1993 (37-68)
32 Games Under .500: August 7, 1993-2nd Game (39-71)
33 Games Under .500: August 8, 1993 (39-72)
34 Games Under .500: August 10, 1993 (39-73)
35 Games Under .500: August 11, 1993 (39-74)
36 Games Under .500: August 18, 1993 (42-78)
37 Games Under .500: August 21, 1993-1st Game (42-79)
38 Games Under .500: August 27, 1993 (45-83)
39 Games Under .500: August 28, 1993 (45-84)
40 Games Under .500: September 2, 1993 (47-87)
41 Games Under .500: September 3, 1993 (47-88)
42 Games Under .500: September 4, 1993 (47-89)
43 Games Under .500: September 5, 1993 (47-90)
44 Games Under .500: October 3, 1993 (59-103)
45 Games Under .500: October 2, 1993 (58-103)
46 Games Under .500: October 1, 1993 (57-103)
47 Games Under .500: September 30, 1993 (56-103)
48 Games Under .500: September 29, 1993 (55-103)
49 Games Under .500: September 28, 1993 (54-103)
50 Games Under .500: September 27, 1993 (53-103)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 1993: If you want to see a grown man cry, just watch me stare at this section for a while. The easily detectable kick in the head is the Mets went on a hot streak in order to finish 46 games under, proving not all six-game winning streaks are created equal.

51 Games Under .500: September 6, 1965-2nd Game (45-96)
52 Games Under .500: September 8, 1965 (45-97)
53 Games Under .500: September 9, 1965 (45-98)
54 Games Under .500: September 10, 1965 (46-100)
55 Games Under .500: September 19, 1965 (48-103)
56 Games Under .500: September 20, 1965 (48-104)
57 Games Under .500: September 21, 1965 (48-105)
58 Games Under .500: September 28, 1965 (50-108)
59 Games Under .500: September 29, 1965 (50-109)
60 Games Under .500: October 1, 1965 (50-110)
61 Games Under .500: October 3, 1965-1st Game (50-111)
62 Games Under .500: October 3, 1965-2nd Game (50-112)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 1965: The second-worst record in Mets history. And four years later, with five players from that season still in tow, a World Series was won. The most glorious “go figure” in the annals of humans and other species.

63 Games Under .500: August 20, 1962-1st Game (30-93)
64 Games Under .500: August 20, 1962-2nd Game (30-94)
65 Games Under .500: August 28, 1962-2nd Game (34-99)
66 Games Under .500: August 29, 1962 (34-100)
67 Games Under .500: August 30, 1962 (34-101)
68 Games Under .500: September 2, 1962 (35-103)
69 Games Under .500: September 3, 1962-1st Game (35-104)
70 Games Under .500: September 3, 1962-2nd Game (35-105)
71 Games Under .500: September 4, 1962 (35-106)
72 Games Under .500: September 7, 1962 (35-107)
73 Games Under .500: September 8, 1962-1st Game (35-108)
74 Games Under .500: September 16, 1962 (37-111)
75 Games Under .500: September 18, 1962-1st Game (37-112)
76 Games Under .500: September 18, 1962-2nd Game (37-113)
77 Games Under .500: September 23, 1962 (39-116)
78 Games Under .500: September 25, 1962 (39-117)
79 Games Under .500: September 29, 1962 (40-119)
80 Games Under .500: September 30, 1962 (40-120)

QUICK THOUGHT ON 1962: The greatest improvement in club lore had to be vaulting from 40-120 at inaugural season’s end to 0-0 at the succeeding season’s beginning. Ah, good old next year — is there anything you can’t do?

Lots, and I mean LOTS of Mets talk with your favorite bloggers on the Rising Apple podcast, as Jason and I join Sam Maxwell, Danny Abriano and Mike Lecolant. By deep inside the second hour, I’m pretty sure I’m speaking in Stengelese. Listen here [3].


Article printed from Faith and Fear in Flushing: http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com

URL to article: http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com/2014/05/20/54-over-80-under-all-stops-in-between/

URLs in this post:

[1] In 1990: http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com/2005/09/16/flashback-friday-1990-part-i/

[2] firing the most successful manager in franchise history: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1990-05-30/sports/9002150546_1_general-manager-frank-cashen-bud-harrelson-davey-johnson

[3] here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/risingapplereport/2014/05/19/ep-75--an-off-day-roundtable-rant-w-the-greg-prince-jason-fry

Copyright © 2010 Faith and Fear in Flushing. All rights reserved.