December 31, 2013

2013 Mets Year End Recap

For the second time in as many seasons, the New York Mets posted only a 74 win season in 2013.  Identical years, with the lone exception being a third place finish atop the Marlins and Phillies, breaking a four year streak of fourth place finishes.  A successful season by no means, 2013 was not without excitement.  Here is a look back at the biggest stories of the past year.

Matt Harvey
The immergance of Matt Harvey as one of the best pitchers in baseball caught New York and the nation by storm.  Although, despite his new found fame he remained unrecognizable to some New Yorkers.  Plagued by little more than poor run support, Harvey didn't lose a decision until June 13th en route to being named the starting pitcher for the National League at the 2013 All-Star Game held at Citi Field where he promptly drilled Yankee Robinson Cano.  Harvey quickly accrued nearly 180 innings pitched before being shut down following his August 24th start due discomfort in his throwing arm that would ultimately lead to Tommy John surgery.  His finally stat line of 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA with nearly 10 strike outs per nine innings will leave Mets fans with fond memories, but ultimately anticipating his return in 2015.

The Sweep
As has been the case since the introduction of interleague play, the annual series with the Yankees wasthe most anticipated of the year. 2013 saw the expansion of interleague play limit the series to a split two game set in each ballpark. It didn't however limit the excitement, as the Mets surprised everyone by sweeping the season series for the first time. Although they mean nothing more than any other game in the standings, it was nice to have bragging rights over big brother on a rare occasion. 

2013 All Star Game
The mid-summer classic showcased Citi Field in only its fifth season.  In addition to Matt Harvey being named the NL starter, David Wright served as the NL captain of the Home Run Derby (which raised $529,000 for charity) which saw Oakland Athletics stud, Yoenis Cespedes, put to rest any notion that Citi's dimensions were too expansive.  Cespedes crushed 32 home runs to earn the win over Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals.  Despite the National League falling by a score of 3-0, Citi Field shined during a week's worth of activities that brought some rare, positive press the Met's way.

The Youth Movement Continues
The 2013 season twice offered the debut of a much anticipated prospect. Zack Wheeler's highlighted part of an exciting June 18th doubleheader in which the Mets swept the Braves. Although he didn't dominate all year, he showed flashes of the raw talent that made him so coveted by scouts across the game. Travis d'Arnaud followed to similar fanfare in late August after losing much of the season to injury. Despite having a freshman that was disappointing from an offensive standpoint, he showed excellent receiving skills which were well appreciated by those on the staff. 

2013 Offseason
The Mets surprised the masses late this year by investing nearly all of the money that came off the books via the departures of players like Johan Santana and Frank Francisco.  Depsite a slow start, the Mets revamped their outfield through the addition of bounce back candidate, Chris Young, and managed to ink former Yankees slugger, Curtis Granderson, to a four-year deal.  The team wasn't finished though.  In an effort to plug the hole left by the injured Matt Harvey, the Mets signed veteran starter Bartolo Colon to a surprising two year deal which was almost unanimously lauded by baseball insiders as a sign that the Mets are back on track and interested in winning.  Despite having much more work to do, the Mets will finish 2013 a better team on paper than that which took the field this past summer.

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