Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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New York Mets Starting Pitchers Koosman, Lolich, Matlack and Seaver - 09.13.76 - SI Vault

Johan Santana feels their pain. 25 years ago Ron Darling felt it...(is 1985 really 25 years now? Wow.)

While the Mets' team ERA is lower than Steve Carlton's or John Candelaria's, the team batting average is only .244. On 28 occasions this season. Met starters have allowed three runs or less, and lost or got no decision.

Tom Seaver (2.41), Jon Matlack (2.86), Jerry Koosman (2.91) and Mickey Lolich (2.95) rank first, seventh, eighth and 10th among National League starters in ERA, but their stomachs churn with the same pitch-by-pitch anxiety as that of the humblest reliever. When you pitch for the Mets, one mistake can be disastrous.

"It's like a damned broken record," says Seaver, who leads the league in strikeouts and heartbreaks and who suffered through a nightmarish seven-week period this summer in which he did not win a game despite some typically Seaverian statistics: seven starts, 55 innings pitched, 13 earned runs, 2.13 ERA and three home runs allowed. For his efforts he was rewarded with four defeats and three no-decisions. Harking back to the days of Marv Throneberry, the Mets managed to score only nine runs in his behalf. Last Friday night they were just as niggardly, scoring only one run. But Seaver pitched up his 11th win (he has lost 10) by shutting out the Phillies. By whiffing eight batters he extended his own record for consecutive 200-strike-out seasons to nine.

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