You have to score runs in order to win games, but you also need to pitch. Which Mets teams since 1980 have been the best at run prevention? Let’s take a look-see, shall we?
Runs Allowed Per Game
- 1988 532 runs 3.32
- 1985 568 runs 3.51
- 1986 578 runs 3.57
- 1989 585 runs 3.61
- 1990 613 runs 3.78
- 1998 645 runs 3.98
- 1991 646 runs 4.01
- 2005 648 runs 4.00
- 2010 653 runs 4.03
- 1992 653 runs 4.03
Hmm… there was certainly a trend here. Over the eight year span from 1985-1992, the Mets had 7 of their best 10 staffs since 1980. The only year they missed the list was 1987. Even the 1991-1992 squads (which were among some of the worst Mets offensive teams of the last 34 years) had solid pitching.
While the Mets had some really good relievers during these years, a team is going to live or die by its starting rotation. What did the Mets rotations look like these years? The top 5 starters (in terms of games started) for these squads were as follows – we’ll progress by year from 1985-1992 (skipping 1987) so we can see the progression:
1986 – Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Bob Ojeda, Sid Fernandez, Rick Aguilera
1988 – Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, David Cone, Bob Ojeda, Sid Fernandez
1989 – David Cone, Sid Fernandez, Ron Darling, Bob Ojeda, Dwight Gooden
1990 – Frank Viola, Dwight Gooden, David Cone, Sid Fernandez, Ron Darling
1991 – David Cone, Frank Viola, Dwight Gooden, Wally Whitehurst, Ron Darling
Some pretty good names, huh? There was also a lot of continuity as well. Dwight Gooden was in all 7 of these top 10 rotations. Ron Darling and Sid Fernandez were on 6. David Cone was on 5. Bob Ojeda was on 4. Those were 5 pretty good names. Former Cy Young award winners Frank Viola and Bret Saberhagen (although Bret’s best years were behind him by the time he became a Met) were there, too. No wonder this stretch saw a lot of really good Mets pitching. Unfortunately, we only saw two playoff appearances and one championship during this time.
So what about those other three starting rotations during those top 10 seasons?
On Deck: The 10 Worst Mets Pitching Staffs Since 1980