10) Mets Best Starting Pitcher – Johan Santana
One game helped define Johan Santana’s career with the Mets. His no-hitter, the first in franchise history, made him an immediate Mets legend.
Santana was much more than a one-game wonder. He isn’t one of those guys that stumbled into pitching a no-hitter one day. A star likely bound for Cooperstown if not for injuries, Santana is one of the greatest pitchers to ever wear a Mets uniform.
In his first year with the Mets, Santana led the league with a 2.53 ERA. He finished third in the Cy Young and 14th in the MVP race all while tossing a league-best 234.1 innings.
Santana continued to pitch amazingly well for two more seasons before injuries caught up to him. His final year with the Mets in 2012 wasn’t very good at all. Outside of his no-no, the season was one to forget.
Even with the blip, Santana’s career numbers with New York included a 46-34 record and 3.18 ERA. In such a short period of time, he managed to accumulate a 15.3 WAR which is tied for 11th among all Mets pitchers. His ERA is 14th and would have been even better had he stayed healthy.
With Santana, there are so many what-ifs to consider. In his four seasons where he actually pitched for the Mets, he only managed to make 30 or more starts in 2008 when he first arrived. Had things turned out differently, maybe the team would have been in better shape during the years after their 2008 collapse.
For me, Santana has the unfortunate claim as the best pitcher in Mets history to never appear in a postseason game. As the tenth-best in franchise history, it’s a shame we never got to see him pitch deep into October.