When does a trend become a measure?
If a club plays well for 20 games we all know it's no big deal. And we've all seen a ton of "surprise" clubs have great first halves before fading to the back of the pack after the break.
And as any Mets fan of at least eight years knows, even a seemingly comfortable lead with three weeks to go is no guarantee of post-season mirth.
The Mets have been bad for too long. Five straight losing seasons . . . Stuck on 74 wins for two in a row . . . A record of 374-436 .462 during that time. When will we at least get to .500?
Well, we're 40 games away from saying "We have!"
After a Saturday June 15 loss to the Cubs the Mets were 63 games into their 2013 campaign. That loss also saw the Mets fall to 15 games under .500 with a record of 24-39 for a winning pct. of .381.
Three days later Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler started both ends of a double header in Atlanta. It was Wheeler's big league debut and we got what we hope is a peek at a future dominated by dominating young pitching. In the prior couple of days the club solidified the outfield by jettisoning Rick Ankiel, giving the everyday CF job to Juan Lagares and RF to the hot Marlon Byrd.
In the 99 games that followed the Mets went 50-49.
The Mets played 1 game above .500 for 99 games. That's not a full season but it's not one good month either. And during that time they played without David Wright for 27 games, Matt Harvey missed the final month + and traded Marlon Byrd with 33 games remaining.
That's three contributors missing a 1/3 of that time and the club still found a way to play .500 ball.
Add in the Mets current 12-10 record and the team is now 62-59 over the last 121 games. 121 games is almost exactly ¾ of a full 162 game slate. 62-59 equals a .512 winning percentage.
The Mets have been a .512 team for ¾ of a season. If you can play .512 ball for 162 games in the same season . . . you win 83 games. Not a wild card winner but a huge step forward.
And if you're on pace to win 83 games you'll probably sell more tickets than when you start the season playing .381 baseball. That means more revenue. Some of which might even be spent on payroll.
And if you're continuing to play above .500 and have a black hole at SS the GM is probably more likely to try to fix that black hole quickly than if you're 15 games under 15.
But as fun as these numbers are it really boils down to will the Mets talent likely be better or worse as the season progresses? Players may over/under perform but will potential acquisitions bring in folks designed to help now or will there be a selloff of the Carlos Beltrans, RA Dickeys and Marlon Byrds yet again?
I doubt it. If the club continues to stay above .500 I'd imagine any deals would be designed to help the big club today rather than 2-3 years from now. Doesn't mean those guys will deliver but the prospect of an in-season acquisition or two is a nice change of pace and makes the trading deadline a lot more exciting.
Can the Mets be a .500 club? They already are! The real questions are: Who's in the cavalry and when does it arrive? And can they push us to Sandy's goad of 90?
Gonna be fun finding out.