Monday Mets: June’s Historic Swoon

After a lackluster May, the Mets headed into June hoping to turn things around. It didn’t quite work out that way.

The Mets went 5-21 this past June. That’s a .192 winning percentage. That’s an .808 losing percentage. In case you don’t like to speak in numbers, it was the worst June in franchise history. The 1962 Mets, the team that lost 120 games, won 8 of their 40 wins in June.

The last time the Mets were close to this bad in June was in 1993. The Mets went 59-103 that year. That Mets team was able to boast a fairly solid lineup featuring eventual Hall of Famer Eddie Murray, eventual Mets HR king Todd Hundley, eventual All-Star Jeff Kent, current Mets employee Bobby Bonilla, as well as former Cy Young Award winners Dwight Gooden and Bret Saberhagen. And while none of these players were in the peak seasons of their careers, they should have been better than 103 losses. Injuries, underperformance, a disappointing bullpen contributed to the disappointment.

This year’s Mets team can relate. By the time the team had lost on Saturday, they were on pace for 65 wins, or so. They’re roster features some all-stars, some potential Cy Young candidates, while also experiencing a fair share of injuries, underperformance, and a disappointing bullpen.

So how do they avoid going in the same direction as the 1993 team? Or, should they be more concerned by the fact that 1993 was not the beginning of a turnaround? From 1991-1996, the Mets had a losing record. They didn’t reach 90 wins until 1999, when they went 97-65, won the NL Wild Card (their first postseason appearance since 1988), and lost in the NLCS to the Braves.

I have to tell you, I have been pretty staunchly against the Mets looking to rebuild. Perhaps, much like those early-mid 1990’s Mets, I really wanted to believe that they’re better than this. I’ve been saying it almost every week for a couple months now. And they’ve only gotten worse, literally. Of course, without knowing what they’d get in return, who’s to say what a rebuild would look like? Last year the Mets unloaded many of their best, non-injured, players and got a bunch of middle relievers who haven’t really impressed this year.

The 2018 Mets players don’t seem to be that much better. Yes, yes, they could seemingly get a lot for Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, but I doubt it would be worth it. Even though Thor has been out since the end of May, he and deGrom have been the best things about this team to watch this year. Wait, Syndergaard has been out since May? With a strained finger? I suppose their June would have been better had he not strained that finger. Knowing New Yorkers like I do, I get the feeling there are a lot of strained fingers aimed in the Mets direction after this past month.

So where does that leave them? Do they trade away much of the rest of their current core for other teams’ spare parts? Or do they hold on to what they have, hope for a turnaround and then use the offseason to begin a rebuild by brining in some free agents – a strategy that rarely works, and is made even tougher but an ownership that sometimes seems wary about spending big money on free agents (especially after the investment they made in the early 90’s team).

With Sandy Alderson’s potentially permanent leave of absence, and the three-headed GM reporting into Jeff Wilpon, who knows what the Mets are going to do?

Of course, after a solid win against the Marlins today, the Mets are currently undefeated in July. Maybe things are looking up.