Yesterday, we looked at the most combined wins in the same year for the Mets and Yankees so today we will look at the worst. No surprise that the 1960s are well represented but it might be a bit of a shock to you that 1962, when the Mets won only 40 games, did not produce the lowest win total. Only four years from outside the 60s make this list and none this century.
Here are the Top 10 combined seasons of fewest Mets & Yankees victories.
10. 1963 155 Wins
The Mets improved 11 wins from their inaugural season but that still game them just 51 victories. Duke Snider led the team with a 115 OPS+ while Al Jackson set a franchise record with 13 Wins. Catcher Choo Choo Coleman tied for the team lead with 5 SB. Meanwhile, the Yankees won 104 games, the second time in three years they would crack the century mark but the last time they would reach that height until 1977.
9. 1964 152 Wins
The Mets edged up two wins from the year before but the Yankees dropped back five. George Altman (69 OPS+) and Roy McMillan (43) dragged down what otherwise was an average or better offense. However, the pitching was dreadful. Their top nine hurlers in terms of innings each posted an ERA+ beneath 100. Two of their three pitchers to log 200+ IP posted ERAs of 4.23 (Jack Fisher) and 4.26 (Jackson) – a surprise given this was the deadball 1960s and the Mets just moved into the pitcher’s park known as Shea Stadium.
T7. 1992 148 Wins
This was the last season that both New York teams finished below .500 for the year. The Mets won 72 games while the Yankees won 76. A pre-steroids Todd Hundley posted 7 HR and a 62 OPS+ while Dick Schofield recorded a 71 OPS+ as the team’s starting shortstop. Sid Fernandez, David Cone and Dwight Gooden combined to go 37-31 while the rest of the squad went 35-59, led by Anthony Young’s 2-14 mark. The Yankees had an okay offense but were dragged down by their pitching. However, their closer had an outstanding year, with 30 Saves, a 1.56 ERA and a 1.019 WHIP. Any guesses on who it was? Even Yankees fans might have a hard time remembering that it was Steve Farr.
T 7. 1991 148 Wins
The Mets notched only 77 wins in the first full season without Davey Johnson while the Yankees put up 71 victories. On July 21st, the Mets were 53-38 and they proceeded to go 24-46 the rest of the way, foreshadowing life for the 2011 and 2012 squads. This was the year the Yankees couldn’t find a 3B. Pat Kelly (73 OPS+), Jim Leyritz (47) and Torey Lovullo (31) were all kinds of miserable. Scott Sanderson went 16-10 and the rest of the team went 55-81.
6. 1993 147 Wins
If you just read the names on the Mets roster, you’d figure this would be a .500 year. But instead they finished with triple digit losses for the first time in 26 years. So, let’s look in the managerial chair. The Mets were led by Jeff Torborg and Dallas Green – do we need to say anything more? Meanwhile, the Yankees were piloted by Buck Showalter, who led his big-name team to 88 wins.
5. 1982 144 Wins
This is a completely underrated year for crappy New York baseball. Most people recognize the 1960s Mets and mid-to-late 60s Yankees along with the early 90s for both teams as being rough but few recall this year. The Mets were okay in the early going but had a June swoon (9-18) followed by a July that was just as bad (9-17) and an August that belonged in the early 1960s (5-24). The Yankees were a respectable 73-68 in mid-September and then proceeded to lose nine straight games en route to a 6-15 finish.
T 3. 1966 136 Wins
There were only four wins difference between the Mets (66) and Yankees (70) this season, the clearest measure yet that the Yankees dynasty was dead. Two of the Mets’ primary starters – Dennis Ribant (11-9) and Bob Shaw (11-10) – finished with winning records, the first time in team history that happened. Things were not so good for Tug McGraw, who started 12 of his 15 games but finished 2-9. Only one of the primary starters for the Yankees finished with a winning record, as Fritz Peterson recorded a 12-11 ledger.
T 3. 1962 136 Wins
We all know the Mets won just 40 games in their inaugural season. However, did you know that four guys on that team went on to become managers? You probably guessed Gil Hodges and perhaps Roger Craig, too. They were joined by Don Zimmer and Jim Marshall. Only Yogi Berra for the Yankees went on to manage in the big leagues.
2. 1967 133 Wins
The Mets won five fewer games in ’67 than they did the year before. Shaw, who had such a strong year in ’66, went 3-9 and lost his rotation spot. Danny Frisella got a shot as a SP and came up short, with a 1-6 record. Jerry Grote posted a 38 OPS+, one of five regulars to finish under 100. As for the Yankees, well Joe Pepitone made 122 starts in CF, which is probably all you need to know.
1. 1965 127 Wins
The Mets only won 50 games but that was more or less what everyone expected from them. Their best hitter was Johnny Lewis, who put up a 106 OPS+ while their best pitcher was Jack Fisher, who posted an 89 ERA+ in 253.2 IP. But few predicted the Yankees, after appearing in the World Series the year before, would fall to 77 Wins, 22 fewer than the previous season. Mel Stottlemyre and Whitey Ford did their jobs (36-22) but the rest of the pitching was a disaster, none more so than Jim Bouton. The former World Series star and 20-game winner battled a “dead arm” and fell to a 4-15 mark. The Bombers had a bunch of injuries but Bobby Richardson stayed healthy. They may have wished he hadn’t as he notched 713 PA and posted a 74 OPS+
So the big question is if the Mets and Yankees can combine for 156 victories in 2013 and keep off this list. The early Las Vegas lines have the Mets at 74 and the Yankees at 86.5, a total all the more surprising when you consider the Tigers have the highest number at 90. Few figure the Mets to win more than the Yankees this year, yet the Bombers are old, have significant injury issues and no one would classify their depth as outstanding.
Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte combined for a 3.20 ERA in 295 IP. If those two senior citizens fail to match those numbers in 2013, the Yankees will be hard-pressed to reach 86 wins, given the questions surrounding offensive stars Granderson, Jeter, Rodriguez and Teixeira. And they better hope C.C. Sabathia doesn’t become the health risk that Johan Santana became at a similar age.
Meanwhile, the Mets will go as far as their SP takes them.