NY Mets: 5 worst pitching staffs in franchise history
By Tim Boyle
The saying goes “pitching wins championships.” The New York Mets seem to believe this on a regular basis. Throughout the franchise’s history, they have been an organization primarily built on pitching.
However, this hasn’t always been a strong suit of theirs. The team has regularly assembled some dud staffs with shockingly poor results.
Which pitching staffs are the worst in Mets history? I’m going to take a look at five dreadfully bad years from Mets pitchers counting down from number five.
5) Worst NY Mets pitching staff: 1963
In just their second year of existence, the 1963 Mets put together an awfully poor year. The club was 51-111 due in large part to some bad pitching performances. They allowed a total of 774 runs which stands as the fifth most given up by the franchise.
Although the staff had an ERA of 4.12 which isn’t so terrible, it’s important to remember what baseball was like back in those days. The Mets were one of only two big league teams with a team ERA over 4.00. The 56-106 Washington Senators were much worse with a 4.42 ERA. This shouldn’t make the Mets feel any better as the league averaged a total of just 3.46 earned runs per nine innings.
The numbers aren’t so jaw-dropping when we look at things like ERA. Roger Craig, Al Jackson, and Carl Willey all finished the season with fewer than 4 runs per 9 innings. Willey was actually at a pretty sweet 3.10.
Unfortunately, each of these men had double-digit losses with Craig leading the way. Despite pitching to a 3.78 ERA, Craig was 5-22 on the year.
Literally only one pitcher, reliever Ken MacKenzie, ended 1963 with more wins than losses. A lighter-hitting era of Major League Baseball, the Mets pitching staff still managed to turn in what remains one of the club’s worst pitching campaigns.