10 best relief pitchers in New York Mets history

Thomas Yorke
Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Two
Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Two / Elsa/GettyImages
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8) Best relief pitcher in Mets franchise history - Jeurys Familia                     

Jeurys Familia was signed by the Mets in 2007 as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic, reaching the major league club during the 2012 season. Although used mostly as a starting pitcher in the minors, Familia’s major league appearances were almost exclusively in relief. When Mets closer Jenrry Mejia was suspended by major League baseball, Familia became the team’s closer and led the Mets to the 2015 World Series, finishing with 43 saves and an ERA of 1.85.

Familia’s 2016 season was even better as he set a Mets single season record with 51 saves. He represented the Mets at the 2016 All Star game and lead the team to the postseason for the second consecutive year as a Wild Card entrant.

His 2017 season was shortened by both a suspension and an injury requiring a season ending operation. With the Mets out of the playoff picture in late 2018, Familia was traded to Oakland. He was then resigned by the Mets the following year but was used basically in a set-up role.

Jeurys Familia has often been judged more by what he didn’t accomplish than what he did. He gave up a three run homer to Conor Gillaspie in the ninth inning of the Mets 3-0 2016 Wild Card game loss to San Francisco. He failed to convert save opportunities in games 1, 4, and 5 of the 2015 World Series. But with the Mets’ single season record of 51 saves along with 122 total saves to show for his career in New York, he also experienced quite a bit of success.

7) Best relief pitcher in Mets franchise history - Roger McDowell    

Roger McDowell was drafted by the Mets in 1982 as a starting pitcher but an injury to his elbow would limit his number of innings and helped convert him into a relief pitcher. He was promoted to the major league club in 1985, first as a middle innings relief pitcher and later as a closer. He combined with Jesse Orosco and later with Randy Myers as a lefty/righty duo at the back end of the Mets bullpen and was a critical contributor to the Mets 1986 world championship.  

McDowell would often pitch more than one inning and his ground ball inducing sinker helped the team get out of many a late innings jam. During his five seasons in New York, he contributed 84 saves and 33 wins while pitching almost exclusively in relief. He was traded to Philadelphia in 1989.

Roger McDowell was a fan favorite due to both his success on the field and his happy-go-lucky attitude off it. A renown prankster, he would surprise teammates in the dugout with firecrackers under their seat or giving a hot foot.  His personality would also result in several appearances on television.

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