Mathematically speaking, the NY Mets were eliminated around two weeks ago when even if they were to hypothetically win every game they had left in the year and the lead wild card team where to lose every game left there would still be no way the Mets would have more wins then that other team.
As a die hard Mets fan this did not persuade me to give up on watching my team. No, like the true fan I am I wore my orange and blue ball cap every day. Every day I tuned in for as long as possible to watch them play on TV. And every day I watched them at least try to win or even sometimes manage to win games. They lost no more than they did the rest of the year, but this week that all came to a grinding halt. Over the past three games including today‘s 7-4 embarrassment, the Mets lost to the most losing team in baseball– the Washington DC Nationals. This meant the worst team in the Major League Baseball system had swept the Mets without a blink or whimper. In all, this basically summed up the entire year in a nutshell.
Let’s put this in perspective for those of you who are not baseball fans or those of you who may not understand just how bad this is in terms of losses. The Nationals have lost 103 games this year. They have only won 55. There are only four games left in this season. That means the Nationals have a .348 win percentage. For those of you out there who are not statistics majors, that means that just below 35% of the time the Nationals will win a game. A decent team will post a win percentage of around .500 (50% chance of win) and a great team will be around .600 (60% chance of winning– the NY Yankees right now are at .646 and the winningest team in the MLB). The Mets pulled in at a mediocre .421. This is way below average and just above really bad. Any bad team’s main goal is not to get 100 losses and with 92 in the books the Mets are nearly there though they will not reach that horrible 100 loss plateau even if they lose the last four games (which they just might– they’re playing slightly better Houston Astros who are at .465).
Like I said in the beginning of this blog entry though, mathematically speaking the season ended some two weeks ago; but with some 20 games left I wanted to watch my team finish with honor, with dignity, and to see this season out. Today the season did end though not officially, but in my heart as a fan. I watched the bats come as alive as they ever have this year mustering a 4-2 lead. I then watched my team’s multi-million dollar closer (the finishing pitcher whose supposed to shut down the game) Francisco Rodriguez blow the game. He loaded the bases, proceeded to walk in a run, and then gave up a grand slam home run to a batter who was rated lackluster at best. Last year Francisco Rodriguez earned the nickname “K-rod” on the LA Angels where he had the most saves ever in a year. Rodriguez holds the MLB record for saves in a single season with 62; which he set in 2008. This year he mustered some 50% of that effort at 34 for the year. Before we get too down on Rodriguez I must point out he has six blown saves and five relief losses. Those numbers are no worse than 2008 when he saw seven blown saves and three loses. He simply had more opportunities to win with the Angels.
It seems though even he has gotten caught up in the injuries, management problems, and general malaise that has taken over the Mets this year. And with that the season ends for me– what happens in the next four games will not make these past three games any better; nor the 92 other losses disappear. With still many starting players on the injured list and Jose Reyes (the staring short stop) looking like his injury may last until Spring Training next year this one is done. And with it– goes the hopes and dreams of another year.
I think SNY‘s Bob Ojeda (himself a former Mets all star pitcher) said it best during the post game wrap up, “You can blame the coaches and the players somewhat. The real person you have to hold responsible is the team’s manager. You can think about firing the whole team, but realistically the manager is who needs to be held accountable.” I could not have echoed any better sentiments. How much longer can Jerry Manuel stay? I’m not sure, but I do sure as Hell miss Willy Randolph. The Mets may have swooned in the post-season with him; but at least they made it past October 4th and worse yet– I didn’t stop watching before October 1st.