With the Washington Nationals winning the World Series in 2019 after a season of trials it had me thinking about 2015 Mets.
The 2015 Mets should have been World Series champions that year, but it just wasn’t meant to be. The Nationals 2019 season ended with a celebration, the Mets 2015 season left fans heartbroken.
The Mets started the 2015 season with a 2-3 record. Starting on April 12, the Mets went on an 11 game win streak. By the end of April, the Mets were 15-8. April was not all good news for the Mets.
On April 15, 2015 Mets captain, and franchise player David Wright was placed on the Disabled List. This injury would eventually be diagnosed with spinal stenosis and he would miss much of the 2015 season.
May and June wouldn’t be as successful for the Mets. At the end of June, they have a record of just 40-38. After starting the season so successfully, it was looking just like a typical Mets season. By the 2015 All-Star Game, the Mets were just 47-42. The Mets were 2.0 games behind the Washington Nationals.
On July 24, 2015, the Mets did something I thought I would never see: a Mets GM be proactive on the trade market. The Mets were 49-48 and were just 3.0 games back when they acquired Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe in a trade with the Atlanta Braves. On July 27, they traded for reliever Tyler Clippard.
July 29, 2015, is probably one of the most important days in Mets history. Most Mets fans know the story well, Zack Wheeler, and Wilmer Flores reportedly got traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for All-Star outfielder and former Met Carlos Gomez. The trade was later nixed, and the Mets ended up trading for Detroit Tigers slugger Yoenies Cespedes.
I remember sitting on my couch, seeing Wilmer Flores cry in the infield. That was a moment of just pure emotion that every Mets fan felt. The Mets would lose that game to the Padres, and it felt like the season was over.
Then came the weekend series versus the Washington Nationals. Just hours after finalizing the blockbuster trade for Yoenis Cespedes, the Mets faced the team leading the National League East.
The Mets were 3.0 games behind Washington in the standings, and Matt Harvey was pitching for the Mets that night. Harvey had a great start, pitching 7.2 innings and striking out 9 batters while on surrendering one run. Wilmer Flores hit a walk-off home run in the eleventh inning to win the game. Cespedes would make his Mets debut the next night, and the Mets swept the Nationals in the series.
I don’t think any Met fan thought that Wright would hit a solo home run in his first at-bat since returning from the DL, but that is just what he did. By this time I was experiencing something I hadn’t felt in a long time as a Mets fan: hope and optimism.
Before I talk about the Mets 2015 playoff run, and their great rotation in 2015, we need to talk about Cespedes.
After the trade with Milwaukee for Carlos Gomez fell through, GM Sandy Alderson made a blockbuster trade when he acquired Cespedes from Detroit.
The Mets sent Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa to Detroit for Cespedes. Fulmer was a good prospect for the Mets at the time, but they had a great rotation so they saw Fulmer as a tradeable piece.
Cespedes would spend August and September being a one-man wrecking crew. In the 57 games he played for the Mets he hit .287 with 17 home runs and had 44 RBIs. He was exactly the middle of the order hitter the Mets needed for their playoff run.
The Mets 2015 rotation was excellent. Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Bartolo Colon would start the year in the rotation. Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz were later called up.
This starting rotation was so much fun to watch. I’m a fan of low scoring pitchers duels so this rotation constantly had me pumped to watch the Mets play.
deGrom and Harvey both had spectacular seasons in 2015. deGrom had a 14-8 record in 30 starts with a 2.54 ERA 205 strikeouts with a 2.70 FIP. deGrom made his first All-Star team in 2015
Harvey, after having Tommy John surgery in 2013, and missing all of 2014, returned to his dominant “Dark Knight” form in 2015. Harvey went 13-8 and had a 2.71 ERA with 3.05 FIP and 188 strikeouts in 29 starts.
The Mets finished 2015 with a 90-72 record and won the National League East. The Mets would face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. The Mets would win the series in five games, but something happened in game 2.
The Mets were leading 2-1 in the 7th inning when the Reuben Tejada broken leg play happened. This play doesn’t need much explanation, but it seemed to fuel the Mets for the rest of the postseason.
The Mets would go on to face the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS. The Mets swept Chicago to advance to their first World Series appearance since 2000.
Daniel Murphy was completely unstoppable in the 2015 NLCS. Murphy had 4 home runs in the series with a .529 batting average and was NLCS MVP.
The Mets would have to wait and see if they would face the Toronto Blue Jays or the Kansas City Royals.
It was the Royals that the Mets would play in the 2015 World Series. This was concerning.
This Royals team had played in the World Series before, just the year before. The Royals faced the San Fransisco Giants in the 2014 World Series. A series in which the Giants won in 7 games.
Game 1 of the 2015 World Series was played in Kansas City. The Mets led the game 4-3 in the ninth before Jeurys Familia blew the game. The Royals would win the game 5-4 in a 14 inning game.
Jacob deGrom started for the Mets in Game 2. The Mets would lose this game 7-1. They only had two hits the entire game.
Rookie Noah Syndergaard started Game 3. This is the game every Mets fan remembers about this World Series. For starters, it was the first World Series game at Citi Field, and it was the only game the Mets would win in the 2015 World Series.
The Mets were down 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Granderson was on first, and my only thought was: it would be cool if Wright would hit a home run.
The count was 0-1 to Wright when he swung at a pitch right down the middle for a two-run homer. I never thought he would hit a home run in that spot. Especially after all the injury problems he had that year.
Wright would drive in four of the Mets nine runs that night. For that one night, Wright looked like his former self.
Game 4 was another heartbreaking loss in this World Series for the Mets. The Mets had a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning. Clippard and Familia with help from a Daniel Murphy error gave the Royals a 5-3 lead, and with that, the Mets were down 3-1 in the series.
For Game 5, Terry Collins had ace Matt Harvey pitch for the Mets. This was arguably Harvey’s best MLB start.
He looked untouchable for the first eight innings. The Mets headed into the ninth with a 2-0 lead.
In a move that baffled a lot of fans, Collins sent Harvey back out to pitch in the ninth. My only thought was: Collins must not trust Famila. I have no idea if my theory is true.
But, Harvey looked mortal in the ninth. For the first eight innings, he looked unhittable but in the ninth, he looked very hittable. Collins removed Harvey after 111 pitches, and after the Royals cut the lead to 2-1.
Famila would enter the game, and blow his third save of the World Series. The Royals would score five runs in the 12th inning, and win their first World Series since 1985.
The 2015 season for the Mets and their fans was very exciting, unfortunately, they came up short on the biggest stage. But, we will always have the memories of their magical 2015 season.
Featured Image: Mike Stobe/Gettys Images