There was an ESPN piece published today ranking every World Series. It’s posted in The Garden, if you haven’t seen it yet. Anyway, it’s a reminder that the Mets are 2-3 in five trips to the Series. If we asked a poll question about which was the best World Series, my guess is that it would split along age lines. Those 60 and older would vote for 1969 and those younger would choose 1986. But the flip side isn’t so cut and dried. And let’s expand it to include some playoff defeats. Here are our contenders:

1973 World Series – Rusty Staub playing heroically – and terrifically – with an injured shoulder, Willie Mays pleading with the umpire over a blown call, the Mets having a 3-2 lead in the series only to have the manager panic and pitch guys on short rest in the final two games. They really should have won.

1988 NLCS – Darryl Strawberry‘s 165 OPS+, David Cone going 20-3, an NLCS matchup against a Dodgers squad that they went 10-1 against during the regular season, leaving Doc Gooden in for the 9th inning in Game 4, Sid Fernandez throwing beachballs in Game 5. They really should have won.

1999 NLCS – The best defensive infield ever, the season-ending sweep to force a tie for the Wild Card, Al Leiter‘s two-hit shutout in Game 163, Todd Pratt‘s walkoff HR in the NLDS, losing the first three games of the series only to battle back, John Olerud‘s two-run single off John Rocker, Robin Ventura‘s grand slam single, falling behind by five runs in the first inning of Game 6 but coming back to force extra innings. Maybe they shouldn’t have won but it was such a fun group and a memorable series.

2000 World Series – This isn’t the most painful one to me but it’s the one I like to think about the least. This team wasn’t the same as the year before and even though they went further, they lost to the Yankees. We can argue if they should have won but it should have been longer than five games.

2006 NLCS – Carlos Beltran with 127 runs, 116 RBIs and a .982 OPS, the senior citizen starting pitching that was decimated by injuries when the playoffs rolled around, a three-game sweep of the Dodgers for Part I of the 1988 NLCS revenge, #$%^& Aaron Heilman & #$%&#* Yadier Molina. And that MF curveball by Adam Wainwright. They really should have won.

2015 World Series – The closing kick to finish the season, the power surge of Daniel Murphy, the brutality of Chase Utley‘s slide, Part II of the 1988 revenge with a defeat of the Dodgers in the NLDS, A .650 OPS despite having to face Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke twice in a five-game series, the annihilation of the Cubs in the NLCS, an .833 OPS despite having to face Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester, the complete collapse of the offense in the World Series, managing just a .552 OPS. You’ll remember dropped balls and lousy throws home but do you remember how inept the offense was? They were absolutely the better team – the offense just picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

2016 Wild Card – Sorry, this one doesn’t even register.

Which playoff defeat was most painful?

  • 1988 NLCS (34%, 11 Votes)
  • 2006 NLCS (25%, 8 Votes)
  • 1973 World Series (16%, 5 Votes)
  • 2000 World Series (9%, 3 Votes)
  • 2015 World Series (9%, 3 Votes)
  • 1999 NLCS (6%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 32

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9 comments on “Poll: Which Mets playoff defeat was the most painful?


    Game 4 of the 88 NLCS still sticks with me. Would have been up 3-1.

  • Metsense

    I was there at Game #4 of 1988 NLCS when Mike Scioscia hit the two run homer off a Doc in the 9th tieing the game. I was stunned and the crowd was stunned. It was eerie, so surreal…so, so quiet. It was so painful that memory and experience haunts me like it happened yesterday.

    • Brian Joura

      I had tickets to Game #5 – the Sid beachball game. Friends scalped tickets to Game #4 but I didn’t go. At least I saved that heartache.

  • Remember1969

    My second choice for my posting alias is “Remember1973” and every time I do, it hurts. I agree with Brian all the way on this one, I loved Yogi, but up 3-2, hello George Stone.

  • DrHyperion

    Too tough to call, so I went with 2006 over 1988 because it was fresher. The whole world series in 2015 was a disaster and they didn’t deserve to win it. The 2006 and 1988 teams did.

    • Brian Joura

      I feel pretty confident they would have won in 2006. They might have won in ’88, too, but I would be less confident of that one.

  • Mike W

    Scioscia hitting the home run off Gooden in 88 was tough. But the one seared in my mind is bases loaded and the bat stays on Beltran’s shoulder for strike 3 for the game and series. That one still hurts.

  • Rob

    88 for me. I just remember everyone expecting the mets to steam roll over the dodgers. Recall steve summers saying a few times why bother having a series.

  • Dan Capwell

    1988 with a bullet! One thing I remember clearly from the TV broadcast was Tim McCarver mentioning that Doc was dropping his head on his follow through. Mere minutes later he gave up that homer.

    2006 was nearly as bad, the only thing that keeps it from usurping 88 was the fact that both Pedro and El Duque were hurt going into that series. The Mets were clear underdogs despite their season’s record.

    They lost in 2000 because they allowed the Yankees to intimidate them. After Clemens hit Piazza and the Mets never retaliated, it was all over.

    2015 was over as soon as Familia blew Game One. The rest was a mere formality.

    1973 is why my blood pressure always rises anytime someone mentions Yogi Berra. The big problem with 1973 is that it fooled the Mets into thinking they really had a great team. They didn’t, and stood pat too long.

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