clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The 2015 Mets and the 2006 Mets both struggled in September

The 2015 Mets aren't playing great baseball in September, but neither did the 2006 Mets.

Nick Laham/Getty Images

September of 2015 has been, easily, the best September for Mets baseball in some time, but that really has more to do with the months that preceded it. After a 20-8 August, the Mets came into September leading the NL East and one of the lightest schedules imaginable: five games against the Phillies, four against the Reds, seven against the Braves, six against the Marlins, three against the Yankees, and six against the Nationals. Only the Yankees and Nats have a winning record of those teams, and the Mets have handled the Nats with relative ease this year. Fans had visions of a mid-month clinch, and then a few weeks of setting the post-season rotation and enjoying meaningless games of a different variety in September.

But, as Mets fans should be only too aware, that hasn't exactly gone as planned. Although their record in September is still above .500 (12-9 as of press time), they’ve struggled against the Yankees, Braves, and Marlins in the last week or so, and still haven’t clinched the division entering the last ten games of the season. Now, granted, they still have a 6.5-game lead with ten to play, and the Nationals aren’t exactly playing good baseball right now. The situation isn’t dire, and the Mets may still reel off a nice winning streak to end the season, but fans are understandably a little disappointed with the way this month has gone.

The last time the Mets made the playoffs, their September wasn’t exactly storybook either. My memories of the 2006 Mets in September are more or less of David Wright with a cigar and Chris Cotter getting drenched with booze while trying to conduct clubhouse interviews. Looking back at that month with some care, however, tells a very different story. The Mets went 12-13 in September of ‘06, and from the 15th on they tied or lost every series, save for the final weekend of the season. They clinched on the 18th, in the midst of their worst streak since late June. There were some ugly losses, too; in consecutive games, they lost 12-0 and 13-1 to the Braves, before winning their final five games.

Much like the 2015 club, the Mets also had to deal with a missing starting pitcher. While Matt Harvey is still able to pitch at a high level, by mid-September Pedro Martinez wasn’t. Martinez didn’t throw a single pitch in the postseason. Much like Harvey, Martinez represented a new class of Mets, and was the leader of the pitching staff, even if that year he did not have his best stuff. In fact, the Pedro Martinez situation makes Harvey’s look downright cheerful.

If the Mets have a good weekend, they could be division champs before getting to Philadelphia. Hell, they could conceivably lose every remaining game and still get into the playoffs if the Nationals falter enough. The truth is that this slump only matters if they miss the playoffs—and we’re not quite there yet, Panic City.