The New York Mets opened the 2016 season as the defending National League champions at home with a 7-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The season started slowly, but the Mets picked up momentum in late April and early May, going 17-6 in one stretch with the offense clicking on all cylinders. But injuries to key starting players David Wright and Lucas Duda caught up with the team in June, and the Mets found themselves hovering six games above .500 at the All-Star break as the offense struggled.
Matt Harvey’s inconsistencies were a big question from the beginning of season. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder pain on July 4 and later opted to have season-ending surgery to resolve a condition called thoracic outlet syndrome. He finished the year 4-10, with a 4.86 ERA.
The Mets acquired Reds slugger Jay Bruce at the trade deadline for top 2B prospect Dilson Herrera. But the Bruce pickup was not quite as impactful as the Yoenis Céspedes acquisition the year before: Bruce totaled just eight home runs and 19 RBI in 50 games as a Met. The Mets did get a spark out of former star José Reyes, who was brought in to fill the void at 3B and in the leadoff spot. But in late August, they fell two games under .500, third place in the division and 2 1/2 games out of the wildcard.
The Mets finished the last 40 games 27-13 despite losing 2B Neil Walker and starting pitchers Jacob DeGrom and Steven Matz to the injury bug. They clinched the first wildcard spot on the second-to-last game of the season only to lose the wildcard game at Citi Field to the Giants and Madison Bumgarner.