For the Mets, the 1977 season was one to forget. The team ended up in last place in the National League East Division with a 64-98 won-lost record. At the trading deadline in June, pitching ace Tom Seaver and slugger Dave Kingman were dealt away. Manager Joe Frazier was fired and replaced by Joe Torre during the year.
The Mets began the season a bit on the slow side. They won eight of 17 games for a .471 percentage during the month. In the season opener at Chicago, the Mets defeated the Cubs, 5-3, on April 7. At Shea Stadium on April 12, the team won its home opener with a 4-0 victory over the Cardinals. Seaver pitched a one-hitter in a 6-0 Mets triumph over the Cubs at Shea on April 17. At San Diego on April 29, they broke a four-game losing streak with a 9-2 win over the Padres. The Mets concluded the month with a 4-1 victory over the Padres. The team was in fourth place in the N. L. East at the end of April.
The Mets completely bottomed out in May. They went 8-21 for the month and dropped into the division basement. After completing a three-game sweep at San Diego with an 8-2 win on May 1, the team lost seven of its next eight games to conclude their west coast trip. A 3-0 victory over the Dodgers at Shea on May 13 snapped a five-game skid. The Mets began a three-game sweep of the Giants at Shea with an 8-1 triumph on May 17. They lost seven of eight on an ensuing road trip and dropped both games of a Memorial Day doubleheader to the Expos at Shea on May 30. The following day, Torre took over for Frazier as team manager. The Mets concluded the month with a 6-2 win over the Expos at Shea in Torre’s first game at the helm.
June marked the end of an era in the history of the Mets. The team set Seaver to the Reds and Kingman to the Padres midway through the month. Despite the sadness caused by the deals, the Mets still had a winning record (15-13) for the month. They won six of their first seven June games and 10 of their first 14. During this stretch, the team chalked up a 3-1 victory at Houston on June 12 in Seaver’s final game before the trade. Following the Kingman and Seaver deals on June 15, the Mets went 3-3 on a home stand against the Astros and Braves. They lost all three games of a series in Chicago and dropped two of three to the Phillies at Shea. The Mets ended the month with a 4-3 win at Montreal on June 30. After this game, they stood two percentage points ahead of the Expos with both teams 17 and one-half games behind the first place Cubs.
Things did not go well for the Mets in July. They had 12 wins and a .429 percentage for the month. The team lost its first nine July games before a 7-5 win over the Expos in 17 innings at Shea on July 9. They won three of five in a series against the Pirates between July 15 and July 17. The Mets won four of seven games on a west coast trip and ended the month with two wins in a three-game series against the Padres at Shea. The team was in the division cellar at 43-59 and 18 games behind front-running Chicago at the conclusion of July.
The Mets’ season got even worse in August. The team had only eight wins and its lowest monthly winning percentage (.267) of the year. After three wins in their first four August games, the Mets had losing streaks of three, six and five games between August 6 and August 21. They had a pair of 2-1 victories over the Astros at Shea over the next two days, the second of which ended with a run-scoring single by Lenny Randle in the ninth inning. From August 24 to August 31, the Mets lost all seven games of a road trip to Cincinnati, Atlanta and Houston. At the end of the month, the team’s record was 51-81. They were nine games behind the fifth place Expos and 30 and one-half games in back of the Phillies (now leading the division.)
Over the remainder of the season, the Mets had 13 wins and 17 losses. They finished in last place for the first time in ten years. The team began the month of September with three wins in an eight-game home stand. On an ensuing road trip to Chicago, Montreal and Philadelphia, they won four of seven. The Mets split a doubleheader with the Cubs at Shea on September 17, winning the first game, 5-4, on Ed Kranepool’s three-run double in the ninth inning. The team stopped a three-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory at Pittsburgh on September 27. They ended the season by winning three of five games at St. Louis between September 30 and October 2. The Mets finished 37 games behind the division champion Phillies.