Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Shades of 1969

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Shades of 1969

Article excerpt

They're nowhere near as good as the 1986 team that dominated everything, but twice came within a strikes of blowing it all.

They're not nearly as weak as the 1973 team that ranked among the worst ever to make the playoffs, but fell only a game short of winning it all.

The 2015 Mets -- statistically, at least -- sit in the middle of the pack compared with the four prior Mets teams that made it the World Series in 1969, 1973, 1986 and 2000. Their playoff run notwithstanding, this year's team hit a little better in the regular season than most of the past pennant winners, pitched a little worse, and played defense about the same.

In many ways, they stack up closely with the 1969 team that thrived off its pitching, but traded for big bats in midseason and caught fire late in the year, longtime baseball writer Phil Pepe said.

"I see similarities in the personnel in the '69 team and the '73 team, but mostly the '69 team," Pepe said. "They do have the makeup that's very much like the '69 team."

On the batting side, the 2015 team wouldn't keep up with the 1986 Mets, but would outdo the offensive pipsqueaks of 1973.

The current Mets -- before Daniel Murphy's playoff home run streak -- ranked eighth during the regular season among the National League's 15 teams in a composite of key offensive stats, according to an analysis by The Record that looked at 10 categories including hits, home runs, strikeouts and total bases. This year's hitters led the league in just about nothing (they were first in doubles and third in home runs), while ranking in the middle of the pack in runs and total bases, and at or near the bottom in batting average, hits and stolen bases.

That puts them far behind the 1986 squad -- with the likes of Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and Darryl Strawberry -- that bulldozed opposing pitchers, topping the league in runs, hits, batting average, slugging percentage and total bases. In an era when pitchers were more dominant, that team scored 100 more runs than this year's. …

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