Rick Aguilera – His New York Mets Career 1985-1989

Rick AguileraIf it wasn’t for a little roller hit behind the bag by Mookie Wilson that went through the legs of Bill Buckner, Rick Aguilera would be known as the pitcher who lost game six of the 1986 World Series. Fortunately for Aguilera the Mets pulled the game out and won the series and he is now remembered as a very good pitcher who won 37 games in five seasons for the Mets mostly as their number five starter.

In his Mets debut on June 12, 1985 Rick Aguilera pitched two innings of scoreless relief against the Philadelphia Phillies to earn his first big league victory.  He appeared in 21 games, 19 as a starter, in 1985 and finished the season with a 10-7 record. He followed that up with an identical 10-7 record during the Mets World Championship season in 1986.

During the postseason in 1986 Aguilera pitched out of the bullpen and as previously stated was on the mound during the tenth inning of game six of the World Series. With the scored tied and the Mets having no margin for error as they trailed the series 3 games to 2, Aguilera gave up two runs to the Boston Red Sox.  In the bottom of the inning the Mets were down to their final out before staging one of the most remarkable comebacks in baseball history.  The Mets won the game and went on to win the series in seven games.

Injuries limited Aguilera to just 18 games in 1987 but when healthy he managed to post an 11 and 3 record.  The Mets moved Aguilera to the bullpen in 1988 where he went 0-4 in just 11 games in another injury plagued season. In 1989 Aguilera pitched exclusively out of the bullpen posting a 6 and 6 record with 7 saves before the Mets traded him along with David West, Kevin Tapani, Tim Drummond and Jack Savage to the Minnesota Twins for Frank Viola, the American League’s reigning Cy Young Award winner.

Rick Aguilera pitched in 114 regular season games for the Mets posting a 37 – 27 record with 7 saves and an ERA of 3.58.  He was also a fine hitter, hitting three home runs during his Mets career.

While with the Mets Aguilera wore number 38 in 1985,1986 and 1989 and number 15 in 1987 and 1988.

Rick Aguilera also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1989-1999
Boston Red Sox – 1995
Chicago Cubs – 1999,2000

 

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Bob Gibson – His New York Mets Career 1987

No not that Bob Gibson.  This Bob Gibson pitched four seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers before the Mets signed him as a free agent prior to the 1987 season.  After starting the season with the Tidewater Tides, the Mets top minor league club, Gibson was promoted to the Mets in July and made his Met debut on July 25, 1987 vs. the Houston Astros.  Gibson entered the game in the 8th inning and faced four batters, striking out two and walking one.  It would be his only appearance in a Met uniform, as well as his last appearance in a Major League game.  He returned to Tidewater where he finished out the season.  With Tidewater, he went 11-7 with a 4.34 ERA. 

Following the 1987 season Gibson was granted free agency and signed with the Baltimore Orioles where he pitched for their Triple A affiliate the Rochester Red Wings.  He retired following the 1988 season.

While with the Mets Gibson wore number 38.

Bob Gibson also played for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1983-1986.

Bill Almon – His New York Mets Career 1980,1987

bill-almonBill Almon was drafted # 1 overall by the San Diego Padres in 1974 and had a solid Major League career, just not with the Mets. He had two stints with them neither of which were memorable.

The Mets initially signed Almon as a free agent on July 11, 1980. He made his Mets debut the same day as a pinch runner and would finish out the season playing in 48 games mainly as a utility infielder. However he failed to get off the interstate hitting just .170

The Mets released him during the off-season and he would go on to play for the White Sox, A’s and Pirates before returning in 1987.

The Mets reacquired Almon on May 29, 1987 from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Al Pedrique and Scott Little. Almon’s second stint with the Mets was much like his first with just a slightly better batting average. This time around Almon hit .241 in 49 games.

The Mets parted ways with Almon in the off-season trading him to the Phillies for Shawon Barton and Vladimir Perez.

In 97 games for the Mets Bill Almon hit .193 with 8 runs batted in.

While with the Mets Almon wore number 25 in 1980 and number 2 in 1987.

Bill Almon also played for the following teams:
San Diego Padres – 1974-1978
Montreal Expos – 1980
Chicago White Sox – 1981,1982
Oakland A’s – 1983,1984
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1985-1987
Philadelphia Phillies – 1988

Randy Milligan – His New York Mets Career 1987

randy-milliganAfter spending seven seasons in the Mets minor league system first baseman Randy Milligan finally made his Major League debut with the Mets on September 12, 1987.  As a pinch hitter for pitcher Bobby Ojeda Milligan struck out.  He would appear in two more games for the Mets, once as a pinch runner and another as a pinch hitter.  In his second pinch hit appearance of the season he drew a base on balls.  It would be his last appearance in a Mets uniform.  During Spring Training in 1988 the Mets traded Milligan to the Pittsburgh Pirates along with Scott Henion in exchange for Mackey Sasser and Tim Drummond.

While with the Mets Milligan wore number 27.

Randy Milligan also played for the following teams:
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1988
Baltimore Orioles – 1989-1992
Cleveland Indians – 1993
Cincinnati Reds – 1993
Montreal Expos – 1994

Randy Myers – His New York Mets Career 1985-1989

randy-myersThe New York Mets drafted left-handed pitcher Randy Myers in the first round of the 1982 amateur draft with the 9th overall pick.  After spending 4 seasons in the Mets minor league system, Myers made his Major League debut on October 6, 1985.  He pitched the final 2 innings of the season and allowed no runs and no hits while striking out two.

Myers started the 1986 season in the minors before getting recalled in July, he would appear in 10 games for the Mets and finished with a 0-0 record and 4.22 ERA.

In 1987 Myers became a regular member of the Mets bullpen serving mainly as a setup man.  In 54 games Myers won 3 and lost 6 while also saving another 6 games.  His first major league win came on July 1 against the St Louis Cardinals. 

In 1988, following the trade of Jesse Orosco, Myers became the Mets full-time closer and helped them reach the postseason by saving a team best 26 games.  Myers also won another 7 games and posted a 1.72 ERA.  During the postseason, Myers won 2 games during the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers but the Mets lost the series in 7 games.  

Myers returned as the Mets closer in 1989 and once again led the team in saves with 24 while posting a 7-4 record and 2.35 ERA.  But following the season the Mets decided to trade Myers to the Cincinnati Reds for John Franco; the Reds all-star closer who was more of a finesse pitcher as opposed to the flamethrower that Myers was.

During his Mets career Randy Myers appeared in 185 games and posted a 17 -13 record with 56 saves and a 2.74 ERA.

While with the Mets Myers wore number 48.

Randy Myers also played for the following teams:
Cincinnati Reds – 1990,1991
San Diego Padres – 1992,1998
Chicago Cubs – 1993-1995
Baltimore Orioles – 1996,1997
Toronto Blue Jays – 1998

David Cone – His New York Mets Career 1987-1992, 2003

david-coneOn March 27, 1987, the Mets completed one of the greatest trades in franchise history when they traded Ed Hearn, Rick Anderson and Mauro Gozzo to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Chris Jelic and right handed pitcher David Cone.  While Hearn, Anderson and Gozzo didn’t amount to anything Cone went on to become one of the best pitchers in Met history winning 80 games over the next six seasons.

But Cone’s Met career did not get off to a great start as he lost his Met debut on April 11, 1987 when he pitched three innings of relief and allowed the winning run to score in the ninth inning.   After his first four appearances, all out of the bullpen, his record was 0-1 and his ERA was 4.66 but he was averaging a strikeout an inning.  Despite his bad start the Mets decided to move him to the starting rotation.  Cone proved to be an effective starter over his next six starts, he posted a 2-1 record.  His first victory as a Met came on May 12th against the Cincinnati Reds when he pitched a complete game allowing four hits and two earned runs.  However just as Cone was beginning to hit his stride he was sidelined for two months after breaking a finger on his left hand while trying to bunt.   He returned in the middle of August and finished the season with a 5-6 record and a 3.71 ERA.

1988 would turn out to be Cone’s best season with the Mets. After starting the season in the bullpen, where he won two games in seven appearances he was moved to the starting rotation in May.  He made his first start on May 3rd and pitched a complete game shutout.  Cone would go on to finish the month of May winning all five of his starts while allowing just three earned runs.  For his efforts, he was named the National League Pitcher of the Month.  From that point on Cone was the Mets top starting pitcher as the Mets dominated the National League and coasted to their second National League Eastern Division title in three seasons.  He won his final eight starts of the year to finish with a 20-3 record and a 2.22 ERA with 213 strikeouts.   In any other year Cone would have been a shoe in for the National League Cy Young Award but he finished third in the voting behind Danny Jackson of the Reds who finished with a 23-8 record and Orel Hershiser who also finished with a 23-8 record but managed to set a MLB record with 59 consecutive scoreless innings.

In the postseason against the Los Angeles Dodgers Cone was tabbed to pitch game two, but he got roughed up and allowed five runs in two innings.  He bounced back to pitch a complete game five hitter in game six to send the series to a decisive seventh game.  Unfortunately, the Mets lost game seven and the series.

Cone got off to rough start in 1989, his record was just 4-5 in the first half of the season, but he turned things around in the second half.  From July 3rd to the end of the season his record was 10-3.  He finished the season with a 14-8 record and 3.52 ERA.

Cone would go on to win 14 games over each of the next two seasons while also managing to lead the National League in strikeouts both years.   On the final day of the 1991 season against the Philadelphia Phillies, Cone put his name in the record books by striking out 19 batters to tie the National League mark held by former Met Tom Seaver and Hall of Famer Steve Carlton.

In 1992 Cone started the season 9-4 and was named to his second all-star team.   But with Cone enjoying his best season since 1989 and the Mets out of the pennant race they traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays on August 27th in exchange for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson.  Cone was going to be a free agent after the season and the Mets were fearful they would not be able to resign him.  General Manager Al Harazin figured it would be better to get something for Cone than nothing at all in the off-season.  It would be a trade the Mets would come to regret as he would go on to help the Blue Jays win the 1992 World Series, then he would win a Cy Young with the Royals in 1994 before moving on to the New York Yankees where he won three World Series titles and even pitched a perfect game.  In his final appearance for the Yankees in game four of the 2000 World Series against the Mets Cone pitched just 1/3 of an inning but managed to get Mike Piazza out at a crucial spot in the game. The Mets would lose 3-2 and eventually the series.

David Cone spent the 2001 season with the Boston Red Sox.  After sitting out the 2002 season the Mets invited David Cone to spring training in 2003. Not much was expected of Cone but he surprisingly made the team.  In his first start for the Mets on April 4th he looked like his old self pitching five innings of shutout ball to earn the win.  But that would be the only highlight for Cone in 2003.  He lost his next three decisions and with his record at 1-3 with 6.50 ERA Cone decided to retire.

In 187 games for the Mets David Cone won 81 while losing 51 with a 3.13 ERA.

While with the Mets David Cone wore number 44 from 1987-1991 before switching to number 17.  When he returned to the Mets in 2003 he wore number 16.

David Cone also played for the following teams:
Kansas City Royals – 1986,1993,1994
Toronto Blue Jays – 1992,1995
New York Yankees – 1995-2000
Boston Red Sox – 2001