The Mets’ sixth-straight win gives them an 8-1 record to begin the 2018 season. This is not uncharted territory for the franchise, as the 1985 and 2006 Mets also got off to 8-1 starts. Both were similar to the 2018 team, in that they included a mix of veterans and young stars, with front-line pitching leading the way.
The 1985 Mets went on to win 98 games. With a rotation that included Doc Gooden, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez, and Rick Aguilera, the Mets dominated that season with young pitching. That group threw 816.2 innings in 116 games, a leve of reliability the Mets are hoping to get from their core of young arms now.
The ‘85 team also got great production from young outfielder Darryl Strawberry. The current Mets hope to see another year of dynamic performance from Michael Conforto, who was the team’s lone All-Star in 2017. The ‘85 Mets finished second in the division, falling just short of a playoff spot to the St. Louis Cardinals, who lost the World Series to the Kansas City Royals.
The 2006 Mets finished with 97 wins, led by veteran pitching and a mix of big bats. The team had an explosive offense, with young stars David Wright and Jose Reyes having breakout seasons while veteran players such as Carlos Delgado, Cliff Floyd, and Paul lo Duca had solid seasons in their mid-30s. This was all held together by their major free agent signing Carlos Beltran, who hit 41 home runs while driving in 116 runs and playing exceptional defense in center field. The Mets won the division in 2006 with 97 wins and went on to the NLCS where they lost to the Cardinals in 7 games.
These 8-1 starts both led to exciting seasons in Flushing. The 1985 Mets were on the verge of one of the best eras in franchise history, as the Mets won the 1986 World Series and contended in each of the three seasons that followed ‘85. The 2006 team was the peak of its era, as the 2007 and 2008 Mets fell just short of playoff spots.
But here’s hoping that the 2018 Mets can do similar things to the ‘85 and ‘06 teams. An 8-1 start doesn’t guarantee anything, but just getting compared to those two squads is a great sign.