Before Max Scherzer made a strong first impression, there was Jorge Sosa

Jorge Sosa of the New York Mets throws a pitch on April 1, 2008 against the Florida Marlins at Dolphin Stadium
Jorge Sosa of the New York Mets throws a pitch on April 1, 2008 against the Florida Marlins at Dolphin Stadium / Doug Benc/GettyImages

Weary of how the New York Mets’ pitching was short staffed during the 2006 playoffs, general manager Omar Minaya sought to deepen their starting rotation prior to the 2007 season.

One such move was signing right-handed pitcher Jorge Sosa to a one-year major league contract. It was initially not well received by fans after Sosa had a poor 2006 season between the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals. Sosa went 3-11 with a 5.42 earned run average and he gave up 30 home runs in 118 innings pitched.

Sosa did not make the Mets’ Opening Day roster in 2007 after a poor spring training. However, he was called up in May to replace Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez in the rotation due to injury.

Jorge Sosa pounced on his redemption quest with the Mets right away

Sosa pitched 6.1 innings of two-run ball in his Mets debut on May 5 in Arizona to propel his team to victory. Then, two more impressive outings gave him wins in each of his first three appearances with the team, all as a starter. He was the last Met to accomplish that feat until Max Scherzer did it in April 2022. He earned enough trust from the front office and skipper Willie Randolph to stay in the rotation when El Duque returned from injury.

Sosa continued his winning ways by winning three of his next four starts, capped by a gem on June 8 against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. He tossed eight scoreless innings on a season high 116 pitches against a stacked Tigers lineup, and he had sported a 2.64 earned run average with a 6-1 record at the end of the night.

Sosa's surprising success on the mound gave Mets fans reasons to believe the rotation was deeper than the one in the playoffs the year prior, and that the team could withstand an injury to one of their starters.

Sosa then struggled through the summer, leading the Mets to make a mid-season change

Sosa lost five of his next seven starts and his spot in the rotation, as he was in the bullpen by the end of July.

The inconsistencies continued, however, as Sosa pitched to a 4.18 earned run average in 28 relief appearances after the mid-season change.

But no pitching appearance was more glaring than the one on September 20 against the Marlins in Miami. After Marlon Anderson hit a go-ahead three run double in the ninth inning to give the Mets the lead, Sosa gave it away. He allowed three runs to score in the bottom of the ninth inning which sent the game into extra innings. And then he served up a game winning double to Dan Uggla in the bottom of the 10th to win the game for the Marlins, and allowed the Phillies to gain ground in the National League East race.

Sosa was called in to pitch because closer Billy Wagner was unavailable due to injury, a situation that the Mets' brass wanted to avoid after how the lack of pitching depth doomed their championship hopes in the playoffs in 2006.

Sosa then became a piece of forgettable trivia ten days later on September 30, the last day of the season. He relieved Tom Glavine in the first inning against the Marlins after Glavine infamously gave up seven runs and only recording one out. It was the game that completed one of the worst collapses in sports history, in which the Mets led the National League East by seven games with 17 games remaining and missed the playoffs completely.

Sosa finished the 2007 season with a 9-8 record and a 4.47 earned run average in 112.2 innings pitched.

The Mets returned Sosa for the 2008 season on another one-year contract, where he was used as a relief pitcher. But he didn’t last very long, as he pitched to a 7.06 earned run average in 21 2/3 innings pitched out of the bullpen before he was designated for assignment in mid-May and then eventually released.  

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