METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE AUGUST 10, 1962 GAME:
September 18, 2006
As the 2006 Mets close in on the division title my son Kenny asked me if I knew on what date the 1962 Mets were eliminated from the pennant race. Thanks to the daily standings provided by the Ultimate Mets Database, I was able to research this, and according to my calculations, they were eliminated after they lost this game to the Reds in Cincinnati on August 10.
After the Mets lost on August 10, their record was 30-84. That meant that if they won all the rest of their games, the best they could end up would be 78-84.
The Dodgers (who were in 1st place at that time, although they ended up losing the pennant to the Giants) were 79-38, meaning that even if they lost the rest of their games, the worst they could end up was 79-83, which would still be 1 game better than the best that the Mets could do. Therefore, as of that date, it became mathematically impossible for the Mets to win the pennant. I don't know if that's the earliest elimination in history, but it's hard to imagine being eliminated any earlier.
Actually, they probably were really eliminated earlier - since there was no interleague play back then, it would have been impossible for a team to win the pennant with a record under .500. So they probably were really eliminated at least a few days earlier, since even if they had been able to win a few more than 78 games, it would have been impossible for at least one other team in the N.L. not to have had a better record.