Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
With the start of the 2020 season delayed until at least May 10 due to the coronavirus pandemic, this season -- and MLB is determined to salvage it -- would be the first shortened campaign since 1995, when the 1994 strike became a lockout that led to 18 games being sliced from the schedule.
The 2020 season could be similar to the 1995 season in one key aspect, with a potentially expanded playoff being considered. The 2020 season could also include postseason games played at neutral sites due to them spilling into November, and multiple doubelheaders per week as the league makes up lost games.
Before the 2020 season begins (hopefully by June), here's a look at how the Mets have fared in other shortened seasons -- and how those seasons looked.
Beginning in late-April after the lockout that followed the 1994 strike ended, the 1995 season featured just 144 games. It was also the first season of the Wild Card, with each league adding one additional playoff team (the team with the best record aside from the three division winners in each league) and an extra round of the playoffs (the five-game League Division Series) being added for the first time since the strike-shortened 1981 season.
The Mets were still in rebuild mode in 1995, and finished in second place in the NL East. But their 69-75 record meant that they ended the year 21.0 games behind the first-place Braves, who beat the Indians in the World Series.
The strike began on Aug. 11 and eventually caused the entire postseason and World Series -- which many hoped would be between the Montreal Expos and New York Yankees -- to be wiped out.
Before the strike, the Mets went 55-58 and were in third place in the NL East behind the Braves (68-46) and Expos (74-40).
A strike shut the season down from June 12 to Aug. 10. And when the season resumed (teams wound up playing between 103 and 111 games), MLB split the season into two halves and determined playoff teams by division winners from the first and second halves of the season.
The Mets, who were in the midst of their worst stretch in team history (they emerged from it in 1984), went 17-34 in the first half of the 1981 season and 24-28 in the second half.
Eight teams made the playoffs as MLB introduced an at-the-time one-year only division series (the Phillies and Expos were the representatives from the NL East), and the Dodgers beat the Yankees in the World Series.
The 1972 season began 13 days late after the first strike in MLB history, with games beginning on April 15 and teams playing between 153 and 156 games.
The Mets, who were three seasons removed from winning the 1969 World Series and one season away from taking the A's to seven games in the 1973 World Series, finished with a record of 83-73, good for third place in the NL East behind the Cubs (85-70) and Pirates (96-59).
The playoffs were regular, with an NLCS, ALCS, and World Series. In the Fall Classic, the A's beat the Reds in seven games.
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Before the Mets came into existence, one other season was shortened.
That came in 1918, when the season was called on Sept. 2 on account of World War I.