4) Mets Best Starting Pitcher – Jerry Koosman
Jerry Koosman is one of the most essential members of Mets history. He was on the mound for the final out of the 1969 World Series during his complete-game victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
It wasn’t just this one game or moment that helped shape the way we think about Koosman. As only the third player to ever have his name retired by the Mets, Koosman is an all-time great pitcher in franchise history.
During his dozen seasons with the Mets, Koosman was 140-137 with a 3.09 ERA. It’s actually quite shocking that he had a record so close to .500. We can blame some pretty bad Mets teams for this.
Koosman was rather consistent throughout his time in New York. In 1972, he had a 4.14 ERA. It was the highest it would ever finish in any full season with the club.
Like the other three names remaining on this list, Koosman’s career started off fantastically. He was 19-12 with a 2.08 ERA in his rookie campaign back in 1968. He narrowly lost the NL Rookie of the Year to Johnny Bench. Looking back at the numbers, Koosman probably deserved the win. He did, after all, finish 13th in the MVP vote that same season.
As far as his place among other Mets pitchers goes, Koosman is third in WAR at 39.4, sixth in ERA at 3.09, and third in wins with those 140 mentioned earlier. Certainly a guy who had a chance to accumulate numbers over time, Koosman was much more than a guy that stayed with the team for a very long time. Koosman was an all-time great.
In the postseason, Koosman came up strong. After one bad start against the Atlanta Braves in the 1969 NLCS, he settled in. He won both of his World Series starts versus the Orioles and continued to build up a good reputation in 1973 when the club returned to the postseason.
Koosman was victorious in one start against the Cincinnati Reds. In two starts, he went 1-0 versus the Oakland Athletics in the World Series while posting a 3.12 ERA.
Although he’s the fourth-best starting pitcher in team history, Koosman is number one among the lefties.