McDonald: Much Like 1999, This Met Team Has “Mojo Risin”

As we all know it’s the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Mets, but it’s also the 20th anniversary of the 1999 Mets, which along with ’85, may be the best Met team not to make the World Series.

They were a team that was stacked. Maybe the best lineup in team history and easily the best infield defense.

Oh yeah, they had someone wearing No. 31 carrying the Mets on his big broad shoulders.

And if you want to compare this surging Met team to one of the past, maybe we should start looking at the 1999 team.

Sure, this team has a better starting staff, but 1999 had a better bullpen. And in the lineup, you have a lot of comparisons. One major power hitter in the middle (Mike Piazza and Pete Alonso), a high average guy with some pop (John Olerud and Jeff McNeil), a veteran third baseman that provides leadership (Robin Ventura and Todd Frazier) and a complete hitter with power (Edgardo Alfonzo and Michael Conforto).

And there’s more. Both teams went on a run after there was a purge to the coaching staff and the manager almost was fired, but after being spared went on a run.

Oh, and how about this: Both teams look up at the Braves in the standing

But after tonight with the Mets increasing their streak to 12 wins in their last 13, you can see that the 2019 Mets has some “Mojo Risin’” as well.

“The frustrating thing about early in the season is that we weren’t winning games and we were putting the work in,” Alonso said. “Sometimes putting the work in doesn’t equate to immediate success, but all of us have bought in. That’s the reason why it was so frustrating.”

But the frustrations have ended. If you want to call the pitching staff turning around, a Phil Regan miracle go ahead, but make no mistake, the 82 year-old has made a difference. The starters are going longer in games and pitching to contact. Today Zack Wheeler scattered eight hits over eight innings for the eventual 5-0 win over the Marlins.

And starting pitching dominating is making the bullpen better because its not getting overused and Regan has been able to keep that ship afloat without any major reinforcements.

“Outside of Robert Gsellman, who pitched two days, we have a fully rested bullpen tomorrow,” manager Mickey Callaway said and going into the weekend against the Nationals, it’s going to really help, because that’s when the competition heats up.

But it’s not the Mets fault they keep winning on who is in front of them and eventually they will need to beat the Nats and Phillies of the world if they want a invite to the October dance.

Remember it wasn’t all peaches and roses in 1999 either. In fact, after the Braves swept the Mets in September, Chipper Jones told all the Met fans to buy Yankee hats and Met Nation remined the future Hall of Famer that his first name was really “Larry.”

And it became fun when the Mets came back and faced the Braves a month later.

That team, though didn’t have enough to get to the big dance. This one may, because of it’s superior pitching staff.

And the pieces are in place, even the prodigal son, who returns to town (Shawon Dunston and Marcus Stroman) and with Joe Panik being DFAed by the Giants today, there may be even another on the way.

That’s the way the season is going.

“Everyone is on the same page here,” Alonso said. “And now we are rolling, and we are putting a lot of team wins. I feel we are playing complete baseball right now.”

Like the 1999 team did 20 years ago.




About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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