The New York Mets signed Braden Lopper to be their new closer prior to the 2004 season. Looper was coming off a season in which he saved 28 games for the Florida Marlins and helped them win the World Series.
Braden Looper made his Met debut on opening day in 2004 pitching a scoreless 9th inning in the Mets 7-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. From that point on he would go on to have his best season of his seven-year career converting 29 of 34 save opportunities to lead the team while posting a 2.70 ERA, though he did have a losing record at 2-5.
Looper started the 2005 season by blowing the save on Opening Day by giving up 2 home runs in the 9th inning. It would be a sign of things to come for Looper in 2005. Despite leading the team once again in saves with 28 he blew 8 games. After blowing the game against the New York Yankees, in a game that would have given the Mets a three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium, the fans started to turn on Looper. With the constant barrage of boos Looper suffered through the season with a 4-7 record and 3.94 ERA
At the end of September, it was revealed that Looper was pitching most of the season with a blown AC Joint which would require surgery. To his credit, he never used the injury as an excuse for his struggles.
The Mets chose not to pick up Looper’s option following the 2005 season and he signed a three-year contract with the St Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals eventually transformed Looper into a starting pitcher.
His final numbers in his two seasons with the Mets were a 6-12 record with 57 saves and a 3.22 ERA.
While with the Mets Looper wore number 40.
Braden Looper also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1998,2006-2008
Florida Marlins – 1999-2003
Milwaukee Brewers – 2009