Amazin'ly Bad: The 10 Worst Pitchers in Mets History
What a disappointing season 2009 has been for the Mets and their fans.
Come to think of it, it's actually been three disappointing seasons in a row, the only difference this year is that the Flushing Faithful won't have to wait until the final day of the season to have their hearts ripped out.
Truth be told, if your a Mets fan, you are quite accustomed to disappointment. For every Amazin' moment in Mets history, there is just as much heartbreak. For every 1969 or 1986, there's about ten 2007 and 2008's.
Sure, the Mets have a rich pitching history with the names of Seaver, Gooden, Koosman, and Santana, but their have been plenty of duds on the mound at Shea as well (Doug Sisk, anyone?).
So keeping with the theme of disappointment that has clouded Citi Field this season, and its predecessor the last two seasons, here is the list of the ten worst Mets pitchers of all time.
10. Nolan Ryan, 1966, 1968-1971
Before Nolan Ryan became a no-hitter machine, strikeout king, and Hall of Famer, he was a young pitcher that the Mets traded away because they weren't sure he would ever overcome his control and confidence problems.
Ryan did win a World Series with the Mets in 1969, but he never reached his potential in NY. Ryan never won more than 10 games with the Mets, and had a career record of 25-38 while in New York.
Ryan wasn't terrible as a Met, however, the fact that he became one of the greatest pitchers of all time after leaving New York is like adding salt to a wound, and makes his Mets days look that much worse.
9. Mike Scott, 1979-1982
Many Mets fans remember Mike Scott for how he totally dominated the Amazin's during their championship run in 1986, almost ruining their season.
But many of those same Mets fans who remember that, don't remember that before Mike Scott was winning the Cy Young award in Houston, he was a pitcher for the Mets, and not a very good one, either.
Scott bounced between the starting rotation and the bullpen, compiling a record of 14-27, and only once posting an ERA under 4.00 (3.90 in 1981).
The same guy who struck out over 300 batters for the Astros in 1986, never struck out more than 63 for the Mets.
I guess that was before he started scuffing baseballs.
8. Roger Craig, 1962-1963
Maybe it's unfair to put a pitcher from the Mets first few years on this list, because those Mets teams were really, really bad.
New York baseball fans knew Craig from his days with the Brooklyn Dodgers, but Craig's Mets legacy rings bells for his two terrible seasons in blue and orange.
In his two seasons, Craig lost 20 games both years, compiling a record of 15-46. That's 46 losses in only two seasons, and a winning percentage of less than .250.
Even on a bad team, that's terrible.
7. Tom Glavine, 2003-2007
Looking at the numbers, Tom Glavine actually had some good years during his five seasons in New York. He even made two All-Star games as a member of the Mets.
But Mets fans will remember none of that when it comes to Tom Glavine. All they'll remember is his final game as a Met, when he put the final nail in the coffin that was the worst collapse in franchise history.
On the final game of the 2007 season, the Mets needed a win in order to make the playoffs. They were at home against the lowly Marlins, with Glavine, their supposed ace, on the hill.
Glavine decided not to even show up that game, as the Marlins would score seven runs off Glavine, knocking him out of the game after only two-thirds of an inning.
Even as a Met, Glavine was able to beat us!
6. Aaron Heilman, 2003-2008
The simple fact that he was a part of what may be the worst bullpen in the history of the game, puts him on this list.
But not only was Heilman a part of that terrible Mets bullpen that seemed to blow every lead they could in 2008, he was also in the 2007 bullpen that wasn't much better, and was the guy who gave up the Home Run to Yadier Molina that ultimately lost game 7 of the 2006 NLCS.
In other words, Heilman ruined the last great season in Queens.
Heilman had a knack for blowing big games, had terrible body language and always looked defeated, and he whined about not being a starter.
But I kind miss booing him.
5. Kenny Rogers, 1999
Kenny Rogers had already proven that he couldn't handle the pressure of the Big Apple during a two-year stint with the cross-town rival Yankees, but that didn't stop the Mets from acquiring Rogers from Oakland at the 1999 trade deadline to bolster their staff for a playoff push.
During the regular season, Rogers went 5-1 down the stretch for the Mets, saving his meltdowns for the post-season.
Rogers started one game against Arizona in the ALDS that year, going 0-1 while throwing only 4.1 innings, and posting an ERA of 8.31.
The Mets would still win that series, but Rogers wasn't much better against the Braves in the NLCS.
He would pitch in three games during the series (one start, two in relief), losing two, including walking in the winning run in game six to end the series.
All he had to do was throw a strike!
4. Armando Benitez, 1999-2003
Armando Benitez is the Stephon Marbury of baseball. Sure he put up the numbers, but it didn't always translate into wins, especially in a big spot.
One game comes to mind when summing up Benitez's Mets career, Game 1 of the 2000 World Series.
The Mets would lose that series 4 games to 1, but few people remember that the Mets would score three runs against Andy Pettite in Game 1 at Yankee Stadium, taking a lead into the ninth inning.
In comes the closer Benitez to secure a Mets victory, but instead he blows it. The Yankees tie it up, and eventually win in 12 innings.
Winning game one against that team in Yankee Stadium would have been huge, instead Benitez's blown save totally sucked the life out of the Mets for that series, and were pretty much finished after that first game.
3. Victor Zambrano, 2004-2006
Desperate to show the fans that they were in playoff contention, the Mets traded for Victor Zambrano at the 2004 trade deadline.
The move did not work at all, as the Mets would go from being four games out of the wild card, to losing 91 games in 2004.
Zambrano would pitch his only full season in Queens during the 2005 campaign.
He would end up 7-12 with a 4.17 ERA, battling control problems and inconsistency along the way.
Zambrano would pitch just five games in 2006 before being injured, and ultimately granted free agency.
What makes things even worse, is while Zambrano was stinking up Shea, the guy the Mets traded to get him, Scott Kazmir, was becoming one of the best young pitchers in baseball, while helping turn the Rays around and eventually getting Tampa to a World Series.
2. Anthony Young, 1991-1993
Anthony Young was a promising young pitcher for the Mets, who may have simply been the poster child for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Young bounced between the bullpen and rotation on some terrible Mets squads in the early 1990's.
Watching him, Young never seemed to pitch terribly, (as proof by his respectable 3.89 career ERA) but poor play behind him, poor run support, and terrible luck are a recipe for disaster.
Young would post a career record of 5-35 for the Mets, including a record for losing 27 straight decisions.
The guy sets a record for losing consecutive games, and still isn't No. 1, thanks to...
1. Generation K (Bill Pulsipher, Paul Wilson, Jason Isringhausen)
Okay, so it's actually a three-way tie for number one, but these guys were lumped together as the saviors for the Mets of the early 1990's, and they'll remain lumped together in the memories of Mets' fans forever.
Paul Wilson, Bill Pulsipher, and Jason Isringhausen were supposed to be three-fifths of the Mets rotation for years to come, forming a formidable , young, and talented staff the Mets could build around.
Not only did it never happen, but with the exception of Isringhausen going 9-2 in 14 starts during the 1995 season, none of these guys ever saw success in a Met uniform.
They earn the No. 1 spot for the false hope they gave Mets' fans. They were the light at the end of the tunnel that was the early 1990's, but they never came through.
So what became of Generation K? Well...
Pitched with the Mets in 1995, 1998, and 2000. With the Brewers in 1998, 1999. With the Red Sox and White Sox in 2001. With St. Louis in 2005.
Career record of 13 wins, 19 losses. Career ERA of 5.15.
Hasn't pitched in the majors since May 2005.
Pitched one season with Mets in 1996. With the Rays from 2000-2002. With the Reds from 2003-2005.
Career record of 40 wins, 58 losses. Career ERA of 4.86.
Hasn't pitched in the majors since May 2005.
The most successful of the three pitchers, Izzy found success after being turned into a closer. He pitched with Mets 1995-1997, 1999. With A's from 1999-2001. With Cardinals from 2002-2008. With Rays 2009.
Career record of 45 wins, 50 losses. Career ERA of 3.60. Isringhausen also has 293 career saves, and was an All-Star with St. Louis twice.