courtesy of The Museum of Anti-Alchohol Posters

The Mets are ploughing through the season on steady pace not only to win the National League East, but to win it with the best record in the National League.

Currently, at 66-44 they sit atop the NL East by a comfortable 12 1/2 games over their nearest rivals and stand 5 1/2 games ahead of the St Louis Cardinals for the best record and homefield advantage leading up to the World Series.

Now have a look at the defending World Champion Chicago White Sox.

They are 65-45, one game worse than the Mets.

They sit in the American League Central 10 games behind the shockingly efficient Detroit Tigers who hold the best record in baseball with a 76-36 record.

If the Mets were in the American League Central instead of the National League East, they'd be 9 games behind the Tigers for the lead.

Not only that, if they were in the American League Central, they'd be a game ahead of the Red Sox and White Sox for the wildcard spot and a mere game and a half ahead of the Minnesota Twins.

And think if the Mets weren't in the East, against whom they are 29-15, a .659 winning percentage. Against the NL Central they are a mere 18-13 (or .580) and against the NL West 13-7 (.650). In other words, they thrive strongest against their own divisional opponents. Of course, this is rather moot. Even a .580 pace (a schedule of nothing but NL Central opponents,) they would still have a better record than anyone in the National League, presuming of course, that someone else wouldn't beat up on the NL East in their place.#

So, having established that in the AL Central the Mets would be in a dog fight for the wildcard but little more and regardless of the division, the Mets would probably be riding high in the National League, we turn reluctantly to Interleague play.

The Mets are 6-9 in Interleague play, the only visible flaw in an otherwise flawless season.

This isn't necessarily a cause for pause in that the Mets still have to get through the shabby likes of their National League postseason competition before they would even have to contemplate another Subway World Series, a replay of 1986 against the Red Sox or the formidable Detroit Tigers, returning Champ White Sox or hard-charging Twins (and for argument's sake, let's confirm that the team that wins the AL West is going nowhere.)

The Twins are 16-2 in Interleague play, as are the Red Sox. The Detroit Tigers are 15-3, as are the White Sox. Only the Yankees, with their injection of Bobby Abreu and the bitter Cory Lidle to fire their August charge to stomp out the Red Sox, have a middling Interleague record at 10-8.

What does any of this mean?

Sweet feck all, as we like to say on the island. Last season the Cleveland Indians, who executed a late season choke job of the AL Central held the best Interleague record at 15-3.

Then again, the White Sox were 12-6 and their World Series opponents, the Houston Astros, were a mere 7-8, one game better than the Mets this season.


Not nearly as much so as a dodgy bullpen and a gasping starting rotation.

Even if we do have a sunny and well locked-up future.


dado said...

None of it means anything. The Mets are where they are, doing what they're doing. Interleague results are meaningless. Charles V was the kind of Spain and the Indies, the Holy Roman Emperor and ruler of the Netherlands. If he had to worry about Interleague play and which division he was playing in, he'd likely have been a weaver or sheep herder.

Jaap said...

That's nothing dado - just think if Pope Clement VII hadn't joined the French-led League of Cognac to resist the threatened Habsburg domination of Europe. If he'd have been in the NL East instead, by crikey, the Mets would be dead last.

kyle in newport news said...

Those numbers may mean sweet feck all, dear jaap, but when I consider them alongside my memory of the Mets' three losses at Fenway this year, I'm saying a little prayer for the Yankees.

Jaap said...

Indeed Kyle, perhaps Sweet Feck All should have been the title of the post instead of Perspective. In my defence, at 6 in the morning with little new Met news to write about given the off night, I was struggled to even type a word.
I think you're safe hoping for the Yankees although perhaps not wise - the Sox seem well damaged by the last several weeks.

kyle in newport news said...

You're right: the Red Sox are hurting and the Yankees are much improved. That gives me a moment's pause.

Then I remember that it's not the team I'm scared of, but the park. :)