The Mets begin their final series of the season last night against Miami. The good news is that it is mathematically impossible for the Mets to finish in the cellar. The bad news is that they are going to finish the season down in the wins column.
I get asked why I still care about the Mets. They’re going anywhere, Jessica. Why still listen to them, unless you want to get the most out of your MLB At-Bat subscription? The truth is, there’s still a lot to listen and watch for. R.A. Dickey will be going for his 21st win of the season and on a team that has as many wins as the Mets do, that’s no small feat. It will be interesting to see how the Mets play this final series. Do they play the series like it’s Game 7 of the World Series or do they play it because they have to play 162 games?
Either way, when the last pitch is thrown on Wednesday, I’m going to be bummed out. Not because we missed the playoffs or because it’s a fourth straight season with a sub-.500 record, but I’m truly going to miss this team. The 2012 Mets, despite their win-loss record, gave me a lot to be excited about this season.
R.A. Dickey, despite his 8-13 record in 2011, was the best pitcher on our team. We expected him to have a better year, but he exploded this year and they’re engraving his name on the Cy Young award as we speak. Dickey was responsible for nearly a third of the Mets’ victories this season and I loom forward to seeing more from him in 2013 and beyond.
This July, even though we fought it, we saw the MLB debut of Matt Harvey. Harvey pitched to a 2.73 ERA and struck out batters left and right, but his record definitely should reflect better. I was also happy to see Jon Niese make it through a full season without getting hurt, and he was rewarded with career highs in strikeouts, innings pitched, and starts. Next year, I hope Niese is able to continue to prove that he is worth his five-year contract.
After struggling at the beginning of the season, with some fans calling for his demotion, Ike Davis came back and slammed 31 home runs this season. I don’t know about anybody else, but with the way Davis started the season, I was not expecting him to come back and hit 31 home runs. I can’t wait to see how Ike starts in 2013, if he gets off to the hot start that we need him to, then I expect Ike to be able to hit 40 home runs in a season at his prime.
Even David Wright’s quest for .400 at the beginning of the season kept us watching, with many skeptics to how long Wright’s (and the team’s) hot streak could possibly last. When Wright is hot, the team is hot. When Wright struggles, the team struggles. It was nice to see David bounce back this year after missing nearly two months last season with a back injury. I think if Sandy Alderson wants to build a winning team, you start with Wright, Davis, and even Harvey, and build a team around them and what they can do.
2012 had its moments of disgust, but overall, I felt way more optimistic about this team’s chances than in the last three seasons. More often than not, we’ve pitched to stay in games and rallied with two outs to score a run or two. More often than not, I said, “Hey, we have a chance today.”
I’m sad for this season to end because we have so much to look forward to next year. I just hope we can go out on a winning streak.