These southpaws have a spot in New York Mets history as the best left-handed starters to ever play for the Amazins.
If there’s one phrase most commonly repeated when discussing New York Mets history, it’s that they are “a franchise known for its pitching.” Two of the most legendary Mets were right-handed pitchers, Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden. Modern-day maestro Jacob deGrom, a righty himself, has also quickly rocketed up the ranks of Mets all-time greats.
There have also been many talented left-handed starting pitchers throughout the history of the Amazins that have etched their way into team lore. Before I discuss the top greats in this category, unfortunately not every solid lefty starter in Mets history could make the cut. That means that Jon Niese and Steven Matz did not make my list.
With that said, let’s begin my countdown of the top left-handed starting pitchers in Mets history.
5. Johan Santana
In recent years, few offseason transactions have stirred the excitement of Mets fans quite like when they traded Carlos Gomez, Deolis Guerra, Philip Humber, and Kevin Mulvey for the lefty Johan Santana on February 2, 2008. Santana came to Flushing from the Minnesota Twins, where he had dominated the American League for years, winning two Cy Youngs during his tenure in Minneapolis.
His first season in a Mets uniform was overall his best, and he finished 3rd in Cy Young voting, leading the NL in ERA, games started, and innings. Santana also etched the first notch in his Mets legacy by pitching brilliantly on three days rest in the second-to-last game of the season, keeping the team’s’ playoff hopes alive with a complete game shutout.
Santana was unquestionably the staff ace from 2008-2010, in which he pitched to a combined ERA of 2.85, averaging 200 innings/season. He also threw seven complete games and four shutouts across those three seasons, serving as the Mets’ workhorse in an era where complete games are increasingly rare.
Of course, Santana’s greatest moment in Queens came on June 1, 2012, when he pitched the franchise’s first no-hitter. Though it essentially came at the cost of his Mets career (and Mike Baxter’s), Santana’s no-no gave him a moment of glory that few other Mets pitchers have ever achieved.