In the first of a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park against the Phillies, the Mets lost by a score of 5-4. It was their 82nd loss of the season, which means they’ll officially finish 2023 with a losing record.
It’s the club’s fifth losing record since 2017. The only two times they’ve finished with a winning record during this period were in 2019 (86-76) and 2022 (101-61). Combine this with the fact that nobody has spent more time in first place than the Mets between 2021 and 2022 without winning a division title, and it’s not something to be proud of.
But even with the initial thoughts of New York maybe taking a step back in 2024, could brighter days be on the immediate horizon? It will if history repeats itself.
The Mets will post a losing record just one year after producing a 100-plus win season. That’s a rare occurrence in baseball history. In fact, New York accomplishing this is only the fourth time it’s happened ever. Will Sammon of The Athletic shared how the previous three teams did the following season:
The Mets will have a losing record after winning 100+ games. A look at the other three teams to do that over a full season:
STL 1931: 101-53
STL 1932: 72-82-2
STL 1933: 82-71-1
CIN 1970: 102-60
CIN 1971: 79-83
CIN 1972: 95-59
STL 1985: 101-61
STL 1986: 79-82
STL 1987: 95-67
— Will Sammon (@WillSammon) September 22, 2023
Winning records the following year for all three teams! There’s another wrinkle to this, too. Tim Britton pointed out that the 1972 Reds and 1987 Cardinals both won the National League pennant.
The Mets have plenty of work to do this offseason in preparation for 2024. David Stearns will be starting as the team’s first President of Baseball Operations next month. He’ll have a huge impact on several personnel moves. This includes Buck Showalter’s future as manager, a potential extension for Pete Alonso, and how much the Mets invest in next year’s roster via the trade and free-agent markets.
This past year in Queens fell well short of expectations. So, Mets fans will obviously hang out to any bit of optimism heading into the offseason. This would qualify as one of those things to keep hopes high for 2024.