With Tuesday night’s win the Mets are now on pace for 105 wins. A thought occurred to me during the game – What if this team ended up tying the 1986 squad with 108 wins? How would that feel? One of my memories of the ’86 team was it being an unstoppable juggernaut during the regular season. And the current team, as unbelievably fun as it’s been, just doesn’t feel the same way to me. Maybe it’s because the Braves and the Phillies have made mid-year charges that none of the divisional foes in ’86 did. Maybe because this year’s team had to deal with significant injuries to its top two pitchers.
And that latter point cuts both ways. Perhaps if Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer had been healthy all year – maybe this team would be ahead of the pace of the ’86 team and feel like an unstoppable juggernaut, too. While it’s buttressed a fair bit by the schedule, the Mets are 14-2 in their last 16 games, with most of that stretch coming with the two aces healthy. And the belief that the 2022 Mets can improve upon their already-great record is that the two aces can push them to even new heights.
This year’s Mets are 72-39. After 111 games, the ’86 Mets were 75-36. But that championship team was about to go on a rare losing streak. Over their next six games, the ’86 club would go 1-5. It’s possible the ’22 club will have more wins than the ’86 club after 117 games. But the ’86 club proceeded to go 32-13 for the rest of the year, including wins in nine of the last 10 games of the season.
This year, the Mets’ schedule is about to get tougher with two series against the Phillies and one each against the Braves, Yankees and Dodgers, a total of 16 games against playoff teams from now until September 1. How the Mets fare in that stretch will say a lot about their chances to remain on the current 105-win pace, much less adding to it in a quest to tie the ’86 team’s 108 wins.
The good news is that five or six of those should be deGrom or Scherzer starts.