1999, 2000, 2006, 2015. If you’ve been a Mets fan for the last 25 years, like myself, these have been the years that kept you coming back. The years that gave you ever so much hope and shown so much promise. And yet the team has consistently disappointed after every seemingly amazing run.
This Mets team of 2017 represents so much of what the Mets have been over my lifetime. A lot of potential and constantly showing signs of breaking out into success only to let you down again. The Mets just completed a sweep on the San Francisco Giants after previously losing 8 of their last 10. Before that? They had won 5 of 6 heading into a four-game series with Washington where many thought they could turn the corner and start to make up serious ground in the division. This seems to be the story of the season for the Mets though. They keep seeming to win a few games, just enough to make you think they’re going to turn the season around only to go on a losing streak that is nothing short of impressive.
But being a Mets fan since I first picked up a baseball in the early 90s this is certainly nothing new. By 1999 the Mets were challenging the Braves who had dominated not only the NL east but the NL for much of the 90s. In 2000, they won us over making it all the way to the World Series only to break our hearts by losing to our cross town rival, the Yankees. However, expectations were still high for the 2001 season with players like Mike Piazza, Robin Ventura and John Franco, but they would finish the season in third place missing the playoffs.
It would only get worse the next few years as the Mets didn’t make the playoffs again until the 2006 season. Anchored by young stars David Wright and Jose Reyes, as well as pitchers Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine, the Mets would make it to the NLCS that season. And for the sake of not smashing my computer I won’t remind you how that series ended. But with these star players returning the 2007 season looked as promising as any. However, the Mets would miss the playoffs by one game (and there goes my computer) in a season that seemed to be the epitome of the Mets franchise.
The next drought would be even longer as the Mets would dwell in the basement of the NL until 2015 when a group of young pitchers started making serious noise in the league. Jacob DeGrom and Matt Harvey had already made names for themselves in the league. This year they would be joined by rookies Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. After hovering right around .500 for much of the season they made serious noise by acquiring Yoenis Cespedes. At the same time players such as Travis D’arnuad and David Wright came off the disabled list and the Mets went on a run for the ages. They dominated their way into the playoffs lead by their young pitchers and an unlikely hero in Daniel Murphy (and of course Big Sexy). They would make it all the way to the world series only to lose to the Kansas City Royals in 5 games. Once again, though, the future looked bright. The Mets were able to resign Cespedes and had their young group of pitchers who looked poised to dominate. On top of that Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo made their debuts and proved to be more than formidable pitchers. However, as the season went on the injuries piled up and the bats never fully got going as the Mets clawed their way into the Wild Card game only to lose to the San Francisco Giants.
Jump to the current season and the Mets again had so much promise. Their four young pitchers were healthy and even being joined by Zach Wheeler after missing two years for Tommy Johns Surgery. Seth Lugo had made a name for himself in the World Baseball Classic and the Mets looked ready to make a run, once again led their group of young, talented pitchers. Then Matz and Lugo get hurt to start the season, then Syndergaard, then Harvey and so on. Suddenly we’re nearly halfway through the season and the Mets find themselves 7 games under .500 and 11 games behind the first place Nationals. In another season that seemed so promising at the start the Mets have done nothing but disappoint.
This season has been a perfect representation of the Mets over the last 25 years. They continually hit big hot streaks and then suddenly, just as you think they’re going to turn the corner, they let you down. But as we all know, as Mets fans, we will keep coming back for more. Just hoping this will be the hot streak that saves the season, or the season that starts the dynasty. We’re just waiting for the day the Mets finally break through.
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