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We're Number Won

10 Things I Learned After Trying To Establish Where Nelson Figueroa's 2 wins ranked among Mets STARTING pitchers...(with apologies to "Studes" at the Hardball Times for utilizing his format for such articles)

The one-win STARTERS are best remembered for being traded...

Tom Parsons got 1 win as a Mets starter. So did Rick Ownbey. As did Bill Denehy. And David West, too. They're better known as the guys dealt for Jerry Grote, Keith Hernandez, Gil Hodges (managerial version) and Frank Viola.

The twos aren't so terrible...

Some good pitchers won twice as a Mets starting pitcher. John Candelaria. Dock Ellis. Brian Bannister (grr...). And now, Nelson Figueroa. Calvin Schiraldi even won two games as a Mets starter, though he's certainly best known for losing two against the Mets in a relief role.

Johan Santana enters Monday with as many wins as a Mets starter (3) as John Pacella

I apologize to any Pacella fans (and I'm one, having written a Where Are They Now about him) if I think that's pretty funny.

It is VERY hard to win more than half your starts

Tom Seaver made 395 starts with the Mets. He won 198 of them. That's 50.1 percent. Dwight Gooden was a hair better (157 of 303) at 51.1 percent. Among pitchers of prominence in Mets history, that's it. Jerry Koosman (39.9 percent) didn't come close. Neither did Ron Darling (40.7 percent). Even Pedro Martinez (45.0 percent) doesn't make the cut. You have to be among the elite of the elite to win more than half your starts. Especially (given the many years of losing) as a Met.

It is also VERY hard to win 11 percent of your Mets starts

Saw Eric Hillman on a Rockies post-game show the other day, so his name caught my eye when I was going through the list of wins by Mets starters. He has four. Much to my shock, Eric Hillman made 36 starts for the Mets. That's a lot, actually. That's 3 fewer than Kris Benson, 10 more than Paul Wilson, twice as many as Terry Leach. Height (6-foot-10) didn't make right for Hillman in these parts, though they certainly did in Japan, where he went 26-19 before a torn rotator cuff moved him on to other things, like broadcasting, I guess.

Hillman's 4 wins in 36 starts were not the worst percentage I came across, though I didn't vette the whole list. Matt Ginter earned one win as a Mets starter in 14 starts.

Bill Pulsipher and Paul Wilson each won the same number of starts for the Mets

Seems appropriate that each has 5 wins as a Mets starter, doesn't it? There's a lot of anguish that goes into the list of those who won 5 games as a Mets starter. Two of the other guys on that list caused a different type of despair: Kenny Rogers and Aaron Heilman.

John Maine is one win away from being a big deal

In this country, we tend to place a lot of value on being in the Top 25, at least in other sports. In baseball, not so much, though when you look at the list of wins by Mets starting pitchers, reaching that ranking isn't too shabby. One more win as a starter would give John Maine 24, and would move him into a tie for 25th-place all-time on the list of most wins by a Mets STARTING pitcher. And if you had to guess right now...who's gonna finish with more wins as a Mets starter: John Maine or Pedro (27) Martinez?

Quick quiz: Top 25 in wins as a Mets starter or not?

Nolan Ryan
Walt Terrell
Pat Zachry
Pete Falcone
Mark Clark
(answers at the end of the piece)

Tracy Stallard won more games as a Mets starter than Mike Hampton

Tracy Stallard lasted two seasons with the Mets (one more than Mike Hampton). He won 16 games. I just think that's neat, because if you flip the digits, you get the reference to what Stallard is best known for, giving up Roger Maris' 61st home run.

Somewhere, Jack DiLauro is a happy guy
Jack DiLauro made four starts as a 1969 Met. He won none of them, though he certainly pitched well enough to win the first three. Relegated primarily to mop-up work (the 1969 Mets were 7-16 when he pitched), DiLauro earned one Mets win, in relief. It came as the recipient of some intriguing official scoring from whoever was keeping tally on the July 20, 1969 Mets-Expos game. Perhaps distracted or inspired by the news of man's landing on the moon, that person awarded DiLauro the win, rather than the save, in a game the Mets won 4-3 in 10 innings. DiLauro pitched the 10th, and only the 10th, holding the Expos scoreless. Ron Taylor allowed the tying run in the 9th, and after DiLauro did his work, the scorekeeper decided he was more deserving of the victory (so says The New York Times). It was his only Mets win.

Steve Trachsel keeps Tom Glavine out of the Media Guide
The Mets media guide typically lists Top 10 career totals in all the significant Mets statistical categories. We're happy to report that Tom Glavine doesn't make that list. Glavine won 61 games (all as a starter, of course). Steve Trachsel blocks his path in a develish fashion, with 66 wins.

Most Wins As Mets Starter
As of April 28, 2008

Tom Seaver 198
Dwight Gooden 157
Jerry Koosman 138
Sid Fernandez 98
Ron Darling 98
Al Leiter 95
Jon Matlack 81
David Cone 78
Bobby Jones 74
Steve Trachsel 66
>> 162 pitchers have won at least 1 start with the Mets
>> Nelson Figueroa (2 wins) ranks tied for 115th in wins by a Mets starter

Answer to the quiz regarding whether a pitcher ranks Top-25 in wins as a Mets starter

Nolan Ryan (Yes, He ranks 25th with 24 wins as a Mets starter. He's who Maine will tie)
Walt Terrell (Nope, 32nd with 19 wins as a Mets starter)
Pat Zachry (Yes, he ranks 17th with 39 wins as a Mets starter)
Pete Falcone (Nope, his 22 wins are 1 fewer than John Maine, and rank him 28th)
Mark Clark (Nope, he like Pete Falcone had 22 wins as a Mets starter, tied for 28th-best)

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