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Mets Pitching Leaders: The exclusive 300 games pitched club

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16: Hall of Famer Tom Seaver throws out the first pitch before the 84th MLB All-Star Game on July 16, 2013 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16: Hall of Famer Tom Seaver throws out the first pitch before the 84th MLB All-Star Game on July 16, 2013 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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1989: Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets pitches during a game in the 1989 season. ( Photo by: Mike Powell/Getty Images)

Eleven pitchers in New York Mets history have appeared on the mound in 300 or more games. These are those men in the elite group.

Games pitches is not a statistic many of us look at. Because relief pitchers have the advantage of appearing in half the team’s games or more, a franchise’s leader in this category is rarely a starter. The same is true for the New York Mets, however, several notable starting pitchers are in the 300 games played club.

A combination of longevity, durability, and availability are what allows a player to reach 300 games in his career with a particular team. In the free agent era, it may feel tougher than ever. Considering this list of men who have appeared in 300 games for the Metropolitans, it’s not quite the case.

Keep in mind, this does not include the postseason. So those who were with the squad during any of their playoff runs will not have those games counted.

10) Dwight Gooden and Aaron Heilman – 305

Dwight Gooden and Aaron Heilman don’t have much in common. Other than spending time with the Mets during their playing days, there aren’t many numbers to link the two. One thing statistic they did match before retirement was games pitched while in a Mets’ uniform.

Both Gooden and Heilman appeared in 305 games for the Mets. In 11 seasons with the Mets, Gooden made 303 of them as a starter and a pair as a reliever. Heilman reached the 300-mark differently. A failed starter turned reliever made only 25 starts before becoming a full-time relief pitcher. The transition worked well in the regular season for several seasons where the Mets were able to deploy him between 74-81 times.

Just for fun, I did find one other link between the two—although it’s a slight stretch. Gooden averaged 7.8 strikeouts per nine as a member of the Amazins. Want to guess what Heilman averaged in his career?

Although Heilman struck out batters at a rate of 7.9 with the Mets, his career total is 7.8. I would have to dig much deeper to find any other connection between these two.

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