The 10 Best Mets Pitching Staffs Since 1980

david cone

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

  1. 1988   532 runs   3.32
  2. 1985   568 runs   3.51
  3. 1986   578 runs   3.57
  4. 1989   585 runs   3.61
  5. 1990   613 runs   3.78
  6. 1998   645 runs   3.98
  7. 1991   646 runs   4.01
  8. 2005   648 runs   4.00
  9. 2010   653 runs   4.03
  10. 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:

1985 – Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Ed Lynch, Sid Fernandez, Rick Aguilera

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

1992 – Sid Fernandez, Dwight Gooden, David Cone, Pete Schourek, Bret Saberhagen

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?

1998 – Rick Reed, Bobby Jones, Al Leiter, Masato Yoshii, Hideo Nomo

2005 – Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, Kris Benson, Victor Zambrano, Kazuhisa Ishii

2010 – Mike Pelfrey, Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey, Jonathon Niese, Hisanori Takahashi

On Deck: The 10 Worst Mets Pitching Staffs Since 1980

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About Roger N - Big Mets Fan 128 Articles
Roger is a lifelong Mets fan since 1981, now married with kids and still knows that there is no such thing as a bad day at the ballpark with your child. Growing up, he wanted to be either the Second Baseman for the Mets - or their statistician. Follow him at @BigMetsFan1. email him at