The goal of a pitcher is always the same. These New York Mets pitchers from the past did it a little different with their weird windups.
One of the beautiful quirks of baseball is how different pitchers can have wildly different windups. The New York Mets have had several pitchers throughout their history who made a name throughout their careers for their unconventional ways of delivering the ball to the plate.
Some fans may wonder why certain pitchers have a smooth, almost effortless delivery, and others go through an elaborate routine that resembles a dance sequence more than a pitching windup. Pitchers are constantly looking for any edge they can get over the hitters they face, and one way to throw hitters off their game is to distract them with an unusual delivery to the plate.
Over the last couple of years, the Mets’ pitcher roster has mostly featured arms with a conventional pitching windup, but in their 58+ year history, they have had quite a few pitchers who were known for their eye-catching delivery to the plate. Let’s take a look back at some Mets pitchers who made a name in Queens for their unusual pitching windups.
Memorable Mets Windups: Chad Bradford
Mets fans today may struggle to remember a time when the bullpen was a strength of the Amazins, but back in 2006, the Mets boasted one of the best bullpens in the league. Submarine-slinging Chad Bradford was a big part of that formidable Mets bullpen. He came to the Mets as a free agent after the 2005 season and spent only one season in Queens.
Despite his short tenure in Flushing, Bradford made his mark in 2006. He was a workhorse, appearing in 70 out of the team’s 162 games and posting a 2.90 ERA. In a bullpen that sorely missed the presence of Duaner Sanchez in the second half of the season, Bradford consistently stepped up and got key outs in a Mets uniform. He also got many clutch outs in that year’s postseason, appearing in seven playoff games in 2006 without surrendering a run.
Bradford succeeded with the Mets by continuing what had given him a lengthy baseball career in the first place. His trademark delivery looked unorthodox but proved effective over his twelve-year big league career. Bradford’s signature was a submarine delivery where his arm got so low to the ground, it almost looked like he was throwing underhand.
Through this windup, Bradford still managed to generate plenty of velocity, and clearly his submarine style of pitching confused hitters enough to keep his ERA below 4.00 nearly every year of his career. Perhaps it’s because he was a key cog of the 2006 Mets machine that fans today fondly remember, but Bradford might be one of the more fondly remembered “one year Mets” in recent memory.