In 1990, the Mets had a won-lost record of 91-71 for the season. It was their seventh straight year in which they compiled a percentage above the .500 mark. During the season, Davey Johnson was relieved of his managerial duties and replaced by Bud Harrelson. The team finished second in the National League Eastern Division.
The Mets started slowly in ‘90. They won nine games and lost ten during the month. The team lost two of three games to the Pirates at Shea Stadium in the season’s opening series from April 9 to April 12. With a record of 4-7, they had a five-game winning streak from April 21 to April 27 to lift them above the break-even point. The Mets ended April with three straight losses.
In May, the Mets continued to struggle. The team recorded 11 wins in 24 games played during the month. The Mets dropped three of their first four May games before sweeping a doubleheader with 7-4 (in 11 innings) and 7-6 victories over the Astros at Shea on May 6. They defeated the Dodgers, 7-0, for their sixth win in seven games on May 12 at Shea. After losing five of eight on an ensuing west coast trip, the Mets were defeated in three of four games against the Padres at Shea between May 24 and May 27. Johnson was dismissed as manager two days later. In Harrelson’s first game at the helm, the team suffered a 2-1 defeat at Cincinnati on May 29 to close out the month. The Mets stood in fourth place in the division, seven games behind the front-running Pirates.
Things turned around for the Mets in June. They posted a 21-7 record for a .750 winning percentage. The month got started with a 4-0 victory at Philadelphia on June 1. At Shea on June 5, the team ended a three-game losing streak with a 6-5 triumph over the Expos in 11 innings. The Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Pirates with an 8-3 win on May 10 at Shea. The team won five of seven at Chicago and Pittsburgh between June 11 and June 17. The Mets won their 11th straight game with a 4-2 triumph over the Reds on June 29 at Shea. At month’s end, they were only one game behind the first-place Bucs.
The Mets continued to win in July. A 17-11 record for the month put the team in a tie for the division lead. To begin the month, the Mets won five games in a row. They chalked up a 2-1 win at Atlanta on July 8 to enter the All-Star Break one-half game out of first place. Following the mid-summer classic, the Mets lost five of eight games at Cincinnati and Houston. They won three of four against the Braves at Shea from July 19 to July 22. At Shea on July 29, the Mets recorded a 6-0 victory over the Cardinals to maintain a one-game divisional lead. They ended the month with a 58-41 season record, matching that of co-leading Pittsburgh.
The Mets had 16 wins and 14 defeats in August. The team started the month with three consecutive wins and followed with a four-game losing streak. At Shea on August 10, the Mets moved into sole possession of first place with a 5-1 win over the Cubs. They dropped four of their next five games before completing a home stand with a 4-1 triumph over the Dodgers on August 16. The Mets won four of ten games on the west coast August 17 and August 26. The team ended the month with a 4-3 comeback victory over the Giants on August 31 for its fourth straight win. They stood one-half game in back of the Pirates.
To conclude the season, the Mets won 17 of their final 33 games. The team fell short in its hopes for a division crown. At St. Louis on September 3, the Mets won their seventh game in a row with a 9-3 triumph over the Cardinals to keep a one-half game lead in the N. L. East. They lost six of their next seven on the road before sweeping consecutive two-game series against the Cards and Pirates at Shea. The Mets ended a five-game skid with an 11-5 triumph over the Cubs at Chicago on September 22. The team won all three games of a series at Montreal from September 25 to September 27. After being eliminated from the divison race on the final day of the month, the Mets ended the season with two wins in a three-game series at Pittsburgh from October 1 to October 3.
- John Franco won the Rolaids Relief Pitcher of the Year Award
- Darryl Strawberry won a National League Silver Slugger Award
- Ed Kranepool was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame