New York Mets All-Time ERA Leaders

Tom Seaver

Jesse Orosco

Jon Matlack

ERA (earned run average) is the one pitching statistic that can give you the player’s real worth to his team. It’s how many earned runs he lets up per nine innings, which means the runs he is directly accountable for. The great ones have ERAs under 2, while something under 3 is also considered to be excellent. Here is a list of the Mets’ all-time leaders in ERA to date:

Tom Seaver (2.571)—Tom Seaver is and was the greatest Mets’ pitcher ever, with a 198-124 record, 2541 strikeouts and franchise-leading 2.571 ERA. Seaver pitched for the Mets from 1967 to 1977 and again in 1983, and he helped the team win a championship in 1969. He went 25-7 that season, one of three seasons he won the NL Cy Young. But his best season may have been 1971, when Seaver went 20-10 with a career best 1.76 ERA and career high 289 strikeouts.

Jesse Orosco (2.735)—Jesse Orosco was the Mets’ closer in 1986 when they won it all, and he pitched for them from 1979 to 1987, before going on to play 16 more seasons for various teams. Orosco ranks second in Mets’ history with a 2.735 earned run average, and his best season for the team was arguably 1983. That year, Orosco had just 17 saves (his career high was 31), but he had career best numbers in wins (13) and ERA (1.47), finishing third in the NL Cy Young voting.

Jon Matlack (3.033)—Jon Matlack was the #2 pitcher behind Seaver for several years, pitching in New York from 1971 to 1977. Matlack ranks third in franchise history with a 3.033 ERA and his best overall season in a Mets’ uniform was 1972, when Matlack went 15-10 with a 2.32 ERA and 169 K’s.

Jerry Koosman (3.095)—Jerry Koosman pitched for the Mets from 1967 to 1978, and was another integral part of the ’69 championship team. Koosman ranks fourth in Mets’ history with a 3.095 earned run average, and he had a career best 2.08 mark in 1968. But Koosman’s best season was probably 1976—that year, he had an ERA of 2.69, and career highs in wins (21-10) and strikeouts (200).

Dwight Gooden (3.099)—Dwight “Doc” Gooden made Shea Stadium electric when he took the mound those first few seasons. Gooden pitched for the Mets from 1984 to 1994, and he ranks fifth in the team’s history with a 3.099 ERA. Gooden had his best season in 1985, when he won the NL Cy Young and finished third in the NL MVP voting. That year, Gooden went an astounding 24-4 with a career best 1.53 ERA and 268 strikeouts. All three categories led the league, as did Gooden’s 16 complete games, and all at the tender age of 20.

John Franco (3.100)—John Franco is a native New Yorker who wound up pitching for the Mets most of his career, from 1990 to 2004. Franco ranks sixth in Mets’ history with a 3.100 earned run average, and the best number he posted as a Met was 1.64 in 1992, when Franco went 6-2 with 15 saves.

Bob Ojeda (3.122)—Bob Ojeda pitched for the Mets from 1986 to 1990, and helped them win the title in ’86 on an amazing staff that featured him, Gooden, Ron Darling and Sid Fernandez. Ojeda ranks seventh in franchise history with a 3.122 ERA, and his best season was that ’86 campaign. That year, Ojeda had career best numbers in wins (18-5), ERA (2.57), and strikeouts (148).

David Cone (3.133)—David Cone had nasty stuff, and he pitched for the Mets from 1987 to 1992 and again in 2003. Cone ranks eighth in team history with a 3.133 ERA, and his best season for the Mets and for his career was arguably 1988, when Cone went 20-3 with a career best 2.22 earned run average and 213 K’s. He finished third in the NL Cy Young voting that year behind Orel Hershiser and Danny Jackson, but Cone did later win a Cy Young with the Royals in the strike-shortened 1994 season.

Sid Fernandez (3.141)—Sid “El Sid” Fernandez also pitched on that great ’86 team, and for the Mets from 1984 to 1993. Fernandez ranks ninth in Mets’ history with a 3.141 ERA and he had a career best 2.73 mark in 1992. But El Sid’s best season was probably that ’86 campaign, when he had a 3.52 earned run average, but career highs in wins (16-6) and strikeouts (200).

Bret Saberhagen (3.158)—Bret Saberhagen only pitched for the Mets a short time, from 1992 to 1995, but he ranks tenth in franchise history with a 3.158 earned run average. Saberhagen won two Cy Young Awards with the Royals, but his best season as a Met was not too shabby either. That was the strike-shortened 1994 campaign, when Saberhagen went 14-4 with a 2.74 ERA and 143 K’s.

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