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NY Mets: 8 Ex-Amazins who killed it with other teams in 2021

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 23: Chris Flexen #64 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch against the Atlanta Braves during the Grapefruit League spring training game at First Data Field on February 23, 2019 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 23: Chris Flexen #64 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch against the Atlanta Braves during the Grapefruit League spring training game at First Data Field on February 23, 2019 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Jul 26, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Paul Sewald (51) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time to quickfire some not-at-all memorable pitchers who had Mets careers that ranged from bad to flat-out horrific. Spoiler alert, it’s mainly the latter.

Paul Sewald

Sewald is the only one out of the four who had even any minor success when he was a Met. HE was never good, but he was at times a passable bullpen arm in non-crucial situations. Still, his best season was when he had a 4.55 ERA, and he finished his Mets career with a 5.50 ERA in 147.1 innings over parts of four seasons.

With the Mariners in 2021 however, Sewald had a 3.06 ERA in 64.2 innings pitched and even picked up 11 saves along the way. He was a huge part of the Mariners’ bullpen as Seattle got dangerously close to snapping their over two-decade-long playoff drought.

Chris Flexen

Amazingly, Sewald wasn’t the only former Mets pitcher to turn his career around on the 2021 Seattle Mariners. Flexen, who was just awful in parts of three seasons with the Mets from 2017-19, was legitimately good in 2021. Seriously, after putting up an 8.07 ERA in 68 innings with the Mets, Flexen turned in a 3.61 ERA in 179.2 innings with the Mariners.

He made a whopping 31 starts as he really just blossomed into the starter Seattle evidently thought he could become. The West Coast Mets were a fun story in 2021, and with Flexen and Sewald under control for a while and a young roster around them, maybe we’ll see them in October soon.

Collin McHugh

An 18th round draft pick of the Mets in 2008, McHugh made his MLB debut in 2012. In June of 2013, after Mets career with a 8.26 ERA through 28.1 innings, he was traded to Colorado. The Mets got back Eric Young Jr. for him, and while EY never really hit, he could fly, and he was a useful piece in Queens for a couple of seasons.

After an unsuccessful stint with the Rockies, McHugh completely transformed his career in Houston, starting out in the rotation for four season before transitioning to the bullpen for his final two with the Astros. After opting out in 2020, McHugh spent his 2021 season in Tampa Bay where he put up a great 1.55 ERA in 64 innings, even acting as the opener for Game 4 of the ALDS. He’s now a free agent, so who knows, maybe the Mets can bring him home.

Hunter Strickland

Do you remember Strickland’s 3.1 innings pitched for the Mets in 2020? Neither do I, but Baseball References says it happened, so technically, he’s a former Mets. He did also get in a full fist/helmet fight with Bryce Harper a few years ago, so he at least gets some bonus points for that. Despite playing for three different organizations in 2021, Strickland actually had a good season, something not usually associated with jumping from team to team.

He was just about league average with the Rays before they sent him to the Angels for cash in May. There, he was really bad for a handful of outings before the Angels apparently changed their minds about wanting him and dealt him to the Brewers for some cash in June, where he was really, really good. Ultimately, he finished the season with a really nice 2.61 ERA on a playoff team, as he turned in a year just about any team would be happy to get.

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