17 July 2012

Post-All-Star swoons aren't just your imagination

So the Mets came out of the All-Star break ice cold.  Seems like that happens a lot, huh?  Maybe, though, just like the myth of the guy who ends the inning with an awesome defensive play being the first guy up to bat the next half-inning, it's not really so.  You just notice it a lot more when it happens and simply don't pay attention the other 8/9s of the time.

I had actually thought to set out exploring the matter over the weekend and roll this post out on Tuesday morning, but just didn't get around to it.  Unfortunately, the Mets cooperated and lost again tonight--on a wild pitch after 2 great comeback attempts (my kingdom for a bullpen)--and kept the notion relevant for another day.

Of course the only way to find out for sure if the Mets always suck after the break is to look up the records, which is easy enough thanks to baseball-reference.com .  Looking back over the past 10 seasons, we see that the Mets came out of the gate in the figurative second half and:

Lost 3 out of 4 last season.

Lost 6 out of 7 in 2010.

Lost 6 out of 8 in 2009.

Lost 3 out of 5 in 2008.

Actually won 3 out of 4 in both 2007 and 2006.

Lost 2 out of 3 in both 2004 and 2005.

Lost 4 IN A ROW in 2003.

Lost 2 out of 3 in 2002.

Add to all that this season's 0-for-5 thus far, and in the past 11 seasons of baseball, only twice have the Mets gotten off to a good start immediately following the All-Star game.  It defies all reason (though I do have a hypothesis I'll share here shortly).

On the bright side, sometimes the Mets do rebound a bit after their initial stumble.  In 3 of the 8 "bad start" seasons prior to 2012, the team managed to post a 6-4 or better record over their first 10 games after the break.  The 2005 team actually went 5-1 following its 1-2 start.  We'll just have to see what the 2012 edition does.

Regardless, it's NOT just in my or your head, and my grumbling about it to Mrs. Sparks every July is not without merit: the Mets do actually suck after the All-Star Game far, far more often than not.  Maybe it's karma's way of evening out that spectacular Opening Day record.