The 3 worst pitchers to start for the Mets on Opening Day

Mike Pelfrey
Mike Pelfrey / Mike Stobe/GettyImages
2 of 3

Bobby Jones got the starting nod for three New York Mets openers in 1995, 1996, and 1998

When Mets fans think of Generation K, a subject that is almost taboo, the names Paul Wilson, Bill Pulsipher, and Jason Isringhausen immediately come up and make everyone cringe. But, for some reason, the name of RIGHT hander (remember that) Bobby Jones, a first round draft pick, seems to always get lost in that conversation. And maybe that’s a GOOD thing?

I guess, if I were Jones, I wouldn’t want to be grouped with them either. And, for the most part, he shouldn’t be. Because he did enjoy some time in the Major Leagues with the New York Mets. Time…not great success.

To be fair, Jones was with the Mets during the period when they were transitioning from the horrible free agent purchases to the arrival of one Mike Piazza. The mid ‘90’s were yet another down period for the franchise and, if nothing else, Jones marched out to the mound every fifth day and gave the Mets innings. For four consecutive seasons – 1995-1998 – Jones would start 30 games and throw at over 190 innings.

In three of those seasons, Jones would be the Mets opening day starter. The only season he wasn’t the starter, 1997, Pete Harnisch would get the opening day nod and take the loss.

Jones would have the honor of opening the 1995 season in Colorado. That wouldn’t go well as he didn’t survive the fifth inning – giving up five earned runs in 4 2/3 innings - as the Rockies would win a barn burner 11-9 in 13 innings.

In 1996, Jones pitched what would be the season and home opener at Shea, and he didn’t fare any better. In fact, he would be worse. He gave up six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. The Mets, however, would rally, thanks to a four-run seventh inning, to win the game, 7-6.

After giving way to Harnisch in 1997, Jones again got the ball in the 1998 season and home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. Jones threw six four-hit innings of shutout ball before yielding to the bullpen, and the Mets would enjoy a walk off 1-0 win in the bottom of the 14th inning.

Jones would spend eight seasons with the Mets and go a respectable, while pedestrian, 73-56, with a 4.12 ERA. His last two seasons were rough, as he pitched to ERA’s over 5.00 in 1999 and 2000. Oh, and in 2000, he had to share the spotlight with another Bobby Jones…Bobby M. Jones. Other than Bobby M being left handed, the two were interchangeable as they both struggled…and both were out of baseball soon after.