COMMENTARY | The New York Mets endured their fifth-straight losing season in 2013, putting together a 74-88 record.
It's hard to say that a third-place finish equals a successful year, but there were five moments in 2013 that signaled better days are ahead:
Matt Harvey starting the All-Star game
Matt Harvey's first half was dominant -- in 130 innings pitched, he posted a 7-2 record with a 2.35 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 147 strikeouts and 28 walks allowed. He was awarded with the honor of starting the All-Star game in front of the home fans at Citi Field.
Harvey looked nervous at the beginning of his start, allowing a double to Mike Trout and hitting Robinson Cano with a pitch. He then settled down and showed why he was chosen to start the game, throwing two scoreless innings.
Sweeping the New York Yankees
Before meeting the New York Yankees in the 2013 Subway Series, the Mets struggled to an 18-29 record. The Amazins went on to surprise everyone, winning all four games against the Bronx Bombers (two at Citi Field, two at Yankee Stadium).
It was clear that the Yankees (with a 30-23 record at the time) would have a better chance at contending for a playoff spot in 2013 than the Mets would. However, the rare sweep gave fans a reason to smile and have bragging rights in the city until their next meeting in 2014.
Since Sandy Alderson joined the organization, he's been focused on the future. On June 18, fans were able to get a glimpse at the future in a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves. Matt Harvey started the first game and Zack Wheeler made his MLB debut in the nightcap.
Both starters lived up to expectation en route to sweeping their division rivals. Harvey allowed three runs on three hits, three walks and 13 strikeouts in seven dominant innings to start the festivities.
Wheeler followed with his first career MLB win in Game 2. The right-hander allowed four hits, five walks and seven strikeouts in six shutout innings.
After years of hearing about the future, the performances of Harvey and Wheeler signaled that Mets fans were starting to see why the front office asked for patience as they tried turning the organization around.
The last 97 games of the season
The first 65 games of the 2013 season were tough for the Mets -- they put together a 25-40 record, including a .292 on-base percentage and 4.13 ERA as a team.
However, ESPN New York notes that the last 97 games were much better. Starting with Harvey/Wheeler day on June 18, New York put together a 49-48 record.
The team's on-base percentage increased to .315, while the team ERA dropped to 3.52. New York's runs per game remained at 3.8, but the Mets stole 87 bases, a drastic increase to the 27 they swiped in their first 65 contests.
It wasn't playoff-caliber baseball, but it was the best stretch they've experienced in quite some time.
Signing of Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon
With the contracts of Johan Santana and Jason Bay coming off the books, the front office promised there would be activity this offseason. They haven't disappointed, agreeing to multi-year deals with Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon.
The roster still needs work heading into 2014, but these two signings are significant. It signaled the organization is willing and able to invest in players to help the team win right now.
The 2013 season wasn't a wild success for the New York Mets, but it was a step in the right direction.
Baseball Reference: player statistics
ESPN New York: statistics on Mets' last 97 games
Matt Musico's Mets opinion has been featured on MLB Trade Rumors, Bleacher Report, MetsBlog, Amazin' Avenue, Mets Merized Online and Rising Apple. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.
- Sports & Recreation
- New York Mets
- Matt Harvey
- New York Yankees