Through the years, the New York Mets have employed some amazing starting pitchers. My mission here is to create the greatest rotation in team history using five different pitchers and their best year.
The New York Mets have a deep and rich history of excellent starting pitching – especially considering that they’ve had so many bad teams in their relatively short (in baseball terms) existence. If time wasn’t an object, which five arms should be plucked from the Mets’ timeline to create the most amazin’ starting rotation?
Let us begin our Mets all-time single season starting five exercise with some simple ground rules.
First of all, there needs to be a certain suspension of belief in the concept of time in order to put these pitchers of different eras (but similar ERA’s?) together. No big deal for a Rising Apple piece on a starting rotation based around the most impressive Mets pitching seasons, right?
After scouring the Mets universe, I’ve personally hand-picked the top five starting pitching seasons (in my eyes, at least) to fill out our starting rotation – with just one catch.
And this catch happens to be our second ground rule…
Since we’re not ridiculous, we won’t have any of our starters take up more than one spot in the rotation, no matter how many terrific, first-ballot Hall of Fame caliber seasons they may have put together.
Meaning, basically, that, even though we’re talking about the ultimate New York Mets starting pitching seasons, we can’t just have Tom Seaver (who has the majority of those top starting pitching seasons) or any other hurler start every day because that’s just not how baseball works.
Starting pitching has, seemingly, always been the focus and strength of the Mets. Throughout the franchise’s history, they’ve had starting pitching at the forefront when they’ve had some measure of success (see 1969, 1973, 1986, 1988, 2000, 2006, and 2015).
The Amazins’ all-time single-season starting five may not be able to top a team as rich in starting pitching history as say, the Dodgers whose all-time single-season rotation might (without any actual research) look something like Sandy Koufax (1966), Clayton Kershaw (2014), Don Drysdale (1963), Orel Hershiser (1988), and Fernando Valenzuela (1980), but I’m sure they can hold their own.
So, without further ado, let’s jump right in and find out for ourselves just what our beloved Mets’ all-time rotation looks like.