For only the fifth time in franchise history, the Mets have failed to win at least five of their first 15 games. It is the first time the Mets have accomplished this feat in 30 years (see list below).
- 1962: 3-12
- 1964: 3-12
- 1974: 4-11
- 1981: 4-11
The 1962 Mets were the first team to start off poorly. That pattern continued throughout the season, as the team finished with a major league record 120 losses. They finished 60 games behind the first place San Francisco Giants in the National League. (The league was not split up into divisions until 1969.)
In 1964, the Mets replicated their start from their inaugural season, losing 12 of their first 15 games. This time, the Mets were able to turn it around and finish with the best record in franchise history up to that point. Of course, when a 53-109 record represents your best season, that's not saying much.
The 1974 Mets were coming off their second National League pennant. After overachieving for the final five weeks of the 1973 regular season and the postseason, the Mets took underachieving to a new level in 1974. Despite boasting a pitching staff of Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Jon Matlack, the offense hit the snooze button all year, finishing last or next-to-last in the league in batting average, runs scored, doubles, triples and stolen bases. They parlayed that poor start into a 71-91 season, their first losing season since 1968.
The 1981 season was cut short by the players' strike, but the season didn't stop soon enough for the Mets. A year after the Mets proclaimed that the magic was back, the same old Mets popped out of the magician's hat in 1981. The Mets finished 41-62 in the strike-shortened 1981 season, their fifth consecutive season with a losing record.
No Met team since 1981 had started out with a record of 4-11 or worse until this year's edition. All four of the previous teams to start off so poorly finished at least 20 games under .500 and in last place or next-to-last place.
The 2011 Mets are now the fifth team in franchise history to win no more than four of their first 15 games. If they don't turn it around quickly, it looks as if the team that was supposed to pay homage to the 1986 Mets will end up honoring their 1962, 1964, 1974 and 1981 counterparts instead.