During Spring Training, when former Mets pitching phenom Jason Isringhausen reached out to assistant general manager J.P. Ricciardi for a bullpen session tryout, many of us crossed our fingers for the sake of nostalgia and hoped for the best.
Many of us were further surprised when Izzy impressed Ricciardi so much that both he and general manager Sandy Alderson signed him to a minor league deal with an invite to compete with the rest of the Mets at their spring training complex in Port St. Lucie. It was a great story, but nobody really expected it would go beyond that…
Now, three months later, who could have imagined that Jason Isringhausen would be having this kind of success and impact out of the 2011 Mets bullpen?
After looking up Izzy’s stats from his first tour of duty (see my chart below) with the Mets and comparing them to what he’s done so far this season, my jaw nearly dropped to say the least.
Izzy is in the midst of his greatest season ever as a Met! His strikeout rate is higher than when he was tabbed as the leader of Generation K, and his WHIP simply blows his previous seasons as a Met out of the water.
You want to talk about a player loaded with plenty of guts and guile? Jason Isringhausen is your man.
You want a player who hearkens to the undying spirit of Tug McGraw’s “Ya Gotta Believe”? Izzy is your go-to guy.
Tip your caps to Jason Isringhausen – who has come full circle and is one reason the Mets are still in this dogfight called the 2011 season.
Who says you can’t go home again?