What else can baseball fans do in January but dream of October? In You May Say I'm a Dreamer, the Outside Corner staff will imagine the route to a World Series in 2013 title for all 30 teams.
A championship for the Mets in 2013? Yeah, fat chance of that happening. But here we are at Citi Field, plastic covering the lockers in the home clubhouse with champagne dripping off of every surface in sight. The New York Mets are champions, as unlikely as that seemed coming into the season.
The only thing the Mets were expected to contend for in 2013 was the NL East basement. Yet, things didn't exactly work out that way. Veterans Johan Santana and Shaun Marcum not only stabilized the top of New York's rotation, but formed one of the best starting duos in the league. The pair each threw at least 190 innings, and posted ERAs under 3.50 for the orange and blue. Past those two, New York's rotation was excellent with Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, and the exciting youngster Matt Harvey holding their own. Harvey was especially a revelation for the Mets in his first full season in the majors, striking out 160 batters in 173 innings while pitching to a 3.79 ERA.
Offensively, it was supposed to be a struggle for the Mets. And at times, it was. New York's outfield was thoroughly unimpressive, totaling just 24 homers among the three regular starters and playing below average defense for the mostpart. But it was in the infield where New York's offense shined. David Wright put together an MVP-caliber season after signing a contract extension this winter, winning a Gold Glove and homering 27 times while hitting .303 with a .942 OPS. First baseman Ike Davis stayed healthy all season and built on his strong second half, belting 38 homers and providing Wright with protection in New York's lineup. Behind the plate, rookie catcher Travis d'Arnaud made his major league debut in May, and ended up hitting 14 homers in 313 plate appearances behind the dish for the Mets.
New York's bullpen also performed better than expectations, especially after a disastrous 2012. Bobby Parnell, slotted into the closer's role after Frank Francisco was placed on the DL for Opening Day, finally took the next step in his new role, striking out 70 hitters in 72 innings and walking only 18. Veteran Brandon Lyon was the ideal setup man for Parnell, striking out 63 in 60 innings and finally earning the label of "underpaid" after years of being overpaid.
The Mets scraped and clawed their way to a playoff berth, winning the NL's first wild card slot and outpacing the Braves and Phillies in the NL East. In the wild card playoff game, Harvey shut down a high-powered Cardinals offense at Citi Field to push the Mets into the NLDS against the Giants. San Francisco couldn't do much of anything offensively against Santana and Marcum in the first two games of the series, while the Mets offense rocked Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner before New York's Niese outdueled Tim Lincecum in a classic game three, giving the Mets the series win in a sweep. In the NLCS, New York took on the Cincinnati Reds. Once again, New York's pitching staff was too much for their opponents, allowing just six runs in the five game victory over Cincinnati. Finally in the World Series, the Mets took on their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees. The Mets offense finally awoke in the series against a veteran Yankees squad running on fumes, as Wright and Davis each homered in the first two games of the series at Yankee Stadium to pace eight run outputs in both games. The Yankees had nothing left for the Mets at Citi Field, and the Mets won each of the next two games in dominant fashion to complete the sweep and bring a championship to Queens for the first time since 1986.
Mets on TOC
End of Season Postmortem
Hope for the Hopeless
2013 Season Preview
You May Say I’m a Dreamer
2013 Burning Question (12:45 PM)
This Is My Nightmare (2:00 PM)
X-Factor (3:15 PM)
Top Ten Prospects (4:30 PM)