By: Stache Staff

Are The Mets Better Since Harvey/Wheeler Day?


A lot has been talked about recently when it comes to the slow moving rebuilding process of the Mets being run by Sandy Alderson and his band of merry Assistant General Managers.

The win totals for the Mets the past three seasons before this one had been 77, 74 and 74. Not exactly trending in the right direction for a fan base that is getting more and more frustrated by the minute.

As this season has reached the 65 game mark, the Mets are on pace for 73 wins. Right around where they have been the past two years. Which is another fact that will not make fans happy about where this franchise is going.

For most Mets fans, the highlight of the 2013 season was on June 18th. That was the day that Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, making his MLB debut, both started in a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves.

It was looked upon as the beginning of the Mets true return to not being a bad baseball team. It was going to stand as an announcement to the world that this team was finally trending upwards after years and years of bad endings or bad seasons.

I always kept that date in mind as this 2014 season got underway mainly because it was a talking point from Sandy Alderson and crew as they tried to look at the glass half full from another 74 win team in 2013.

The 49-48 record from then till the end of the 2013 season was something the organization was hoping to use as a source of telling the fans, “hey, look at what we did the final 97 games of the season, we were over .500, things are getting better.”

So I was curious, just how have the Mets done in the past 162 games since that date. Has that date been the one that we can truly look to, that saw the Mets finally moving in the right direction towards being a contending team?

Well, both yes and no. In the 162 games since June 18th, 2013 the Mets are 78-84.

The 339 games before Harvey/Wheeler Day had seen the Mets play to a .451 winning percentage. An average win total over 162 games of 73.

So the Mets since Harvey/Wheeler Day have won five more games over a 162 game span than they averaged in the first 339 since Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins took over as GM and Manager.

Now winning 78 games over the past 162 would get exactly ZERO teams into the playoffs in baseball. So what exactly makes what they have done in that time frame a good thing?

Well there are a few factors that you should consider.

The first one is how the past 162 game stretch compares to the one they had prior to 6/18/13. In the 162 games before Harvey/Wheeler Day, which was the final 97 games of 2012 and the first 65 games of 2013, the Mets were 64-98.

The Mets have improved by 14 games from one block of 162 games to the next. To go from a team playing like the worst the Mets would have seen in a full season since 1993 to one that has improved the win total by 14 is not too bad.

I mean that fact alone wont send the fans flocking to Citi Field but it certainly has gotten better over the past year. That my friends is true.

The second one is that Matt Harvey in those 162 games has only made 11 starts because of needing Tommy John Surgery, missing the end of 2013 and all of 2014 to this point of the year.

Any team missing their ace pitcher for 2/3rds of his starts in a 162 game season (33 starts is what most SP get when healthy for a full year) wont be very successful most of the time. I would also be remiss not to also mention how Bobby Parnell, the normal Mets closer, has also missed a ton of time the past 162 games.

The third point is that David Wright, easily the best position player on the team over their last 162, has missed 50 games in this time frame of games we are using.

Sure he is not hitting up to his standards this season and over the past 112 games he did play his slash line is .290/.356/.442/.800 which is all lower than his career marks of .300/.380/.500/.880

But, missing him for 1/3rd of the past 162 games is a bad thing as this team is instantly better every time he steps onto the field. Some might think otherwise, this terrible slump he is in is certainly helping their thought process, and yet they would still be wrong.

Actually, the Mets are 56-56 with him in the lineup, 22-28 without in the past 162. Considering the cast that has been around him offensively, that doesn’t surprise me nor should surprise you.

The Mets have had their ace make only 11 starts, their best hitter miss 50 games, their closer hurt for most of this time frame and yet still were a few times of turning losses into wins from being .500.

Then, something I haven’t even mentioned yet, the Mets are getting underwhelming performances from the SS (Tejada & Q), C (d’Arnaud & Recker), 1B (Duda and Davis) and LF (Eric Young, Chris Young) positions as well over these past 162 games.

I really have to admit that winning 78 of their past 162 is pretty good when everything is factored in that has gone against the Mets in that time.

Now, I know that this is a post that has taken the term “Glass half full” and stretched it to it wits end.

I personally see that the team and the rebuilding process, even with its better play over the calendar year, being stuck in neutral as we continue to wait for the turn around to occur fully.

But, as their record indicates, this team has played better in the last year that it has at any point in a long time.

Many things have gone against the Mets in the last 162 games and yet I can say that they still play hard and haven’t given up on trying to do better and actually have done better.

The fact is that this team is trending upwards, it is just moving too slow for any of us to really appreciate it just yet.

If the pieces fall into place (Harvey & Parnell being healthy, Wright playing better and contributions from SS, 1B, LF and C), maybe just maybe, by this time next season we wont have to search high and low for the positives.

They will be right in front of us, finally.

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