6) Tug McGraw – 361
Memories of Tug McGraw are much nicer for fans than those of the last two mentioned. McGraw was famous for his “Ya Gotta Believe” slogan which helped add another element to the 1969 championship squad. The season was a breakthrough one for him as an individual player and the beginning of a stretch with the Mets where he continued to appear often out of the bullpen.
Prior to the trade which sent him to the Philadelphia Phillies, McGraw accrued 361 appearances with the Mets. It’s the sixth most all-time. And looking at the names we have left on this list, he was at one point number one.
McGraw would have surely played in more games for the Mets if he was in another era. Back in the 1970s, relief pitchers were expected to pitch a little less often but a little longer when they did. Four times he reached 100 innings.
5) Jesse Orosco – 372
Another closer for our list, Jesse Orosco was on the mound for one of the biggest moments in Mets history. His 372 games for the Mets land him at number five. It’s no shock either. He is, after all, the all-time leader in games played for a pitcher.
The ageless wonder never reached 70 games in a single season, but from 1982-1987, appeared in 50 or more. These added up over the years. Often called upon to finish games whether it was a save situation or not, Orosco was someone the team could count on for several seasons.
During his Mets years, Orosco was a part of the transition for the expectation closers. Not always viewed as one-inning men with a singular role, his success helped define what we know of the job today.
4) Jerry Koosman – 376
Finally, another starting pitcher. And a Mets legend, too. Though Jerry Koosman was never the ace, he had an amazing run with the team from Flushing.
Koosman spent parts of a dozen years with the Mets. His 376 games are the fourth most of any player in franchise history. Among them, 346 were starts.
In all of those games, Koosman was more than an innings eater who showed up to work. He was a darn good pitcher whose 140 Mets wins and 3.09 ERA puts him on the possible list of Mount Rushmore starters. I’ll defer to older fans who saw him pitch to make this determination.