Mickey Callaway‘s tenure as a big league manager couldn’t have gotten off to a much better start, right?
The first-year skipper has seen his change in philosophy help steer the New York Mets to a 12-2 record, which is the best 14-game start to a season in franchise history. As we all know, though, this kind of streak may only stand out so much solely because it’s happening at the beginning of April. If New York had a 14-game stretch like this in the middle of July, it’d certainly be notable, but it may not catch the attention of as many eyes.
There are still 148 regular-season games remaining for us to find out whether the Mets are a true contender or just a pretender. However, an interesting stat was floated out onto the Twitter machine following Wilmer Flores‘ walk-off home run against the Milwaukee Brewers Sunday.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this little factoid injected quite a bit of hope into Mets fans everywhere (myself included). There’s no real way to validate New York’s hot start as anything sustainable, but this will help keep the dream alive for a little while.
Despite taking what we see here with a tremendous grain of salt, it’s also worth looking back at that National League championship club to show how helpful a start like this can be.
The Mets finished the 2015 regular season with a 90-72 record due to some struggles that followed their 11-3 start. What they ultimately accomplished was only made possible because guys like Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe, and Michael Conforto arrived to breathe life into what had become a horrific offense. After all, they went just 79-69 the rest of the way following those first 14 games.
If we’re using 90 wins as the benchmark, the Mets need to play just slightly better than .500 baseball moving forward thanks to what they’ve accomplished over the past two-plus weeks. And while the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves are currently closest to them in the National League East standings, there’s a six-game gap between New York and the Washington Nationals, the popular preseason favorite.
This deficit is by no means insurmountable, but it’s an impressive one to have so early in the year.
The Mets have already risen their playoff chances from the 44.0% mark right before Opening Day to their current 64.7% odds (per FanGraphs), which is staggering. Prior to the season starting, Cespedes said this team is way better than the squad that reached the World Series nearly three years ago.
They’re one game better than the 2015 team so far. Now we just need to see what the current group accomplishes over the final 148 games in order to find out if that’s actually the case come October.
About Matt Musico
Matt Musico currently manages Chin Music Baseball and contributes to The Sports Daily. His past work has been featured at numberFire, Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report. He’s also written a book about how to become a sports blogger. You can sign up for his email newsletter here.