Ed Lynch was a big part of the New York Mets in the early 1980s. Working as a starter and reliever, it looked like he would be one of their back-end starters in 1986. The Brooklyn native was coming off of a 1985 season in which he put together a 10-8 record and 3.44 ERA.
Unfortunately, Lynch wouldn’t get his chance to continue on with the future World Series Champions. After a single relief appearance in the third game of the season, Lynch went down with a knee injury. In his absence, the Mets continued on with Rick Aguilera as their fifth starter—a role Lynch may have won.
Lynch did return in 1986. When he did, he was a member of the Chicago Cubs.
Some more Mets history around Ed Lynch
Lynch landed with the Cubs following a trade on June 30. He pitched well for them in 1986, going 7-5 with a 3.79 ERA. The following year would be his last in the big leagues. Working as a reliever more than ever before, Lynch saw his ERA inflate to 5.38.
A few years before my time, Lynch is one of those Mets players I don’t know a thing about. I only ended up discovering him one night when I was curious about who had the best walks per nine rate. Lynch wasn’t number one at 1.9 per nine but he was in the top ten of the franchise. I had to learn more about him and what, if anything, made him good. As I often do, I started to fall down a rabbit hole of randomness.
The trade that sent Lynch to Chicago brought back a pair of players. Daves to be specific.
Dave Lenderman (no, not that Letterman) never reached the major leagues. Dave Liddell, however, did. Liddell was a light-hitting catcher who had only one plate appearance in the major leagues. In 1990, he singled for the Mets and scored a run. He would become a free agent after the season ended, never reaching the major leagues again.
But back to Lynch for a moment before we wrap things up and I climb out of the rabbit hole I’ve fallen into.
Lynch was “old man” in the Mets rotation back in 1985. At 29, he was five years older than their next oldest starter, Ron Darling. This was a year that showed off Lynch’s strong control of the strike zone. In 191 innings, he walked only 27 batters. By the way, Darling walked 114.
Not just a master at throwing strikes, Lynch also pitched to contact. He was far from a strikeout machine. His time with the Mets included a strikeout rate of only 3.2 batters per nine. Remember, this was the 1980s when batters were actually embarrassed by this. I think I could average four strikeouts per nine innings in the big leagues in today’s world.
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Never masterful, Lynch was an average pitcher on rosters with above-average arms. Playing right at the beginning of the golden age of Mets baseball, he’s someone time has forgotten.