Sid Fernandez has some of the best numbers of any pitcher in New York Mets history. Why don’t we talk about him more?
Sid Fernandez spent ten seasons as a member of the New York Mets. In that time, he managed to earn his way to a pair of All-Star Games and win 98 games. The win total is the fifth most in franchise history with notable Mets like Al Leiter, Jon Matlack, and David Cone behind him.
Wins aren’t everything, though. And Fernandez more than makes up for it in other departments.
Let’s start with WAR. For pitchers, he’s number six. Include all batters, he only drops down to number nine.
What makes Fernandez more valuable than anything is his consistency. In his ten seasons with the Mets, his highest ERA was 3.81—accomplished in 1987 when he was an All-Star.
Run prevention was indeed Fernandez’s greatest talent. Even in years when he had a losing record, Fernandez kept his ERA low. Five times he had an ERA under 3.00. Three of those seasons he had a .500 record or worse.
It’s pretty simple to understand why Fernandez may be underappreciated. Pitching alongside Dwight Gooden, he was easier to overlook.
Furthermore, he doesn’t have the connection with fans Ron Darling does from the broadcast booth today.
Fernandez does have a benefit other pitchers in team history didn’t get. Fernandez started young and stayed with the Mets for a long time. To have a full decade of accumulating numbers gives him a much higher place on the stat sheet than others to suit up for the Amazins.
Bob Ojeda, for instance, had comparable numbers to Fernandez. But because he stayed with the team for half as long as Fernandez, his Mets totals aren’t nearly as impressive.
Every decade of Mets baseball has its star pitchers and the second-tier of excellent ones. Fernandez, unfortunately, falls into the second category.
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Minus any big playoff moment or historic season, Fernandez is one of those underappreciated players in Mets history. Luckily, numbers do him justice and even those who never got to see him pitch can understand how vital he was to the team’s success.