Going into 2011, the Mets had a good young core, plus some other up-and-coming players, but the preseason expectations ranged from last place to playoff contention. The team hoped it could put the health issues of 2009 and 2010 behind it, but apparently, the injuries never departed. As a result, many of the Mets' stars, such as Johan Santana, David Wright, and Ike Davis have missed significant portions of the season.
Currently, the Mets are 64-68, in a distant third place in the NL East, and a distant fifth place in the NL Wild Card race.
Statistically, the Mets offense has not lived up to expectations. Again, injuries played a large role in this. David Wright, Jason Bay and Ike Davis were all widely projected to hit over 30 home runs and drive in over 100 RBI each, but Wright and Davis have spent significant time on the disabled list, while Bay simply has become a bust in the first two years of his four-year contract. The only two really bright spots this year have been Jose Reyes' career season and the bounce-back year Carlos Beltran had before being traded to the Giants. Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy have both been pleasant surprises as well.
As for the pitching, the current rotation has been healthy, yet very inconsistent. The only pitcher that has established some sort of consistency is the rookie Dillon Gee, who was not expected to be the Mets' best pitcher. Nonetheless, he is the only Mets starter with a winning record. This is because Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese and R.A. Dickey, all of whom pitched very well in 2010, have been rather inconsistent this year. The fifth starter, Chris Capuano, has managed to stay healthy after going through a few injury-plagued seasons, but he has also been inconsistent all season. Francisco Rodriguez had a pretty good season for the Mets, but got traded right after the All-Star break. Jason Isringhausen and Bobby Parnell have now become the two main late-inning relievers and have both pitched pretty well this year. One surprise in the bullpen has been Pedro Beato, whose season got off to a very solid start.
While these Mets have not been particularly good this year, 2011 should by no means be considered the lowest of the lows. Over their history, the Mets have had some rather terrible seasons. One could quickly point to the poor records the Mets originally had from 1962-1968, but five out of the Mets' last 20 seasons have definitely been worse than 2011, in various ways. So, as the saying goes, "it could always be worse".
Here are five recent Mets seasons within the last 20 years that make 2011 look like more of a success than it actually has been.