Wednesday, May 15, 2013

These Mets Are Streaking Like Few Mets Teams Have Streaked Before

With tonight's 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Mets have suffered six consecutive defeats.  It marks the second time the team has gone through a six-game losing streak in 2013.  How rare is it for the Mets to lose at least six straight games twice before they had played 40 games?  It's only happened three times before, and it hadn't happened in over three decades.

In 1981, the Mets were 4-4 after nine games (one game ended in a tie).  Immediately after that rare tie, the Mets embarked on a seven-game losing streak to fall to 4-11.  By May 9, the Mets were already 8-15 and eight games out of first place.  They then proceeded to lose their next nine contests to fall to 8-24.  Fortunately, the mid-season strike and subsequent unlikely pursuit of the second half division title made most people forget about the putrid first half of the season.

Sixteen years prior, the team went through two separate six-game losing streaks.  After a decent (for them) 6-7 start in 1965, the Mets dropped six in a row to fall to 6-13.  Immediately after their first six-game losing streak, the Mets won seven of their next 11 games, only to lose another six straight to drop to 13-23.  The Mets would go on to lose 112 games that year, meaning they had plenty more long losing streaks during the season.

And then there are the 1962 Mets.  The team with the all-time worst record in the modern era also became the first Mets team to suffer two losing streaks of at least six games within the first 40 games of the season.  The expansion Mets lost their first nine games of the season, but then went 12-10 over their next 22 games.  The success was short-lived, as the Mets followed up their better-than-medicore 22-game stretch with a still-standing club record 17-game losing streak.  Since the first nine games of the skein occured within the first 40 games of the season, the 1962 Mets became the first team to endure multiple six-game losing streaks in the first quarter of the season.

The Mets have rarely had more than one six-game losing streak in the first 40 games of a season.  They accomplished that futile feat three times in the franchise's first 20 seasons, but had not suffered the indignity over the last 32 years.  That is now a thing of the past, as the 2013 Mets have just lost six straight games for the second time this season.

During the franchise's first few seasons, the Mets were known as lovable losers.  But there's nothing lovable about losing in 2013.  Long losing streaks will tend to take the love out of any fan base.

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