So the Mets completed the 2011 season with 77 wins, solidifying their fourth place finish for the third consecutive year. On paper, the 2011 Mets were two wins worse than their predecessors, but I believe an argument can be made that this team has actually improved and for that reason there should be optimism moving forward.
The 2011 New York Mets had to navigate the season without their ace, Johan Santana. Now while there is no telling what type of year Santana would have had, its reasonable to think that 12 to 15 wins would be in reach, thus giving him the team lead in that category. Furthermore unlike 2010, the 2011 Mets had to work around a putrid Mike Pelfrey, who came into the year as the designated 'ace' and exited the season having exhausted what little faith the fan base had left in him.
Position players were not spared the wrath of the injury bug either, as the team's budding young power hitter, Ike Davis, would lose the majority of his season after a seemingly innocent collision with David Wright in early May. Wright himself would soon be lost for more than two months falling victim to a stress fracture in his lower back. Two trips to the disabled list for Jose Reyes, and another severely depressing year for Jason Bay outline all the good reasons why the team struggled yet again.
However, with all of that the team managed to shed only two wins over its previous campaign. Only time will tell whether it was the fill-in players such as Justin Turner and Dillon Gee or the change in the team's attitude spurred on by new manager, Terry Collins. As always, there are no answers set in stone, but there is reason to believe that the direction of the team is better than its been in years.
There are no easy turn arounds in baseball and they still have plenty of work today, but this time I'm not sure if the numbers are a fair representation of the product. If fans can look past the numbers, there are reasons to be optimistic. Unfortunately, at times like this thats all we have left.
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