Nobody saved more games for the New York Mets than John Franco and yet he never managed to have 40 in a season. It’s a tough thing to do. There needs to be enough wins close enough to even allow for a closer to have those opportunities.
Franco’s 38 saves in 1998 for the Mets is the most he had in any season for the team. He set the standard for what Mets fans wanted from their closer in the more modern usage of the role. The days of Tug McGraw or Jesse Orosco with their three-inning saves were over with. It was now a one-inning at a time era. These three managed to get over the hill.
NY Met relief pitcher Armando Benitez saved 40 games twice (2000, 2001)
Armando Benitez was the first Mets closer to reach the 40 save milestone. He first did so in 2000 with 41 saves and again in 2001 with another 43 attached to his name. The 41 saves in 2000 set a new franchise record that he’d top a year later.
NY Mets relief pitcher Billy Wagner saved 40 games once (2006)
Billy Wagner was the Mets closer for the 2006 season. He became only the second pitcher in franchise history to reach 40 saves. By this point, bullpens were managed a little more carefully. A 40 save season was a bit tougher to grab yet not impossible. We’d find out about a decade later that there were still 40 saves to be had by a Mets reliever.
NY Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Famillia saved 40 games twice (2015, 2016)
Jeury Familia played kindly with the franchise record for saves in 2015 when he tied Benitez’s record of 43. A year later, now firmly holding onto the closer’s role for New York, Familia blew past the shared title. His 51 saves in 2016 added him to an exclusive list of pitchers who managed to hit the 50-mark in a year. Those 51 saves shared a tie for tenth-place all-time in an MLB season.