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Millers Tale

An alert reader pointed out to me that Tim Redding is now six starts into his Mets career without recording a victory.

We did a whole writeup on pitchers who were winless for their careers when the Mets obtained Pat Misch not long ago, but now we turn our attention to the Mets pitcher who went winless the longest (in terms of number of starts) from the beginning of his career with the team.

It has been awhile since a Mets pitcher went winless in the first six starts of his career (the last was Hideo Nomo in 1998) but that pales in comparison to the record-holder. In 1962, Bob L. Miller went winless in his first 20 Mets starts.

That must have been pretty frustrating, especially considering that 7 of those 20 starts were of quality (3 earned runs in 6 inning or fewer). In that span, Miller got through 7 innings on five occasions. The Mets lost two of those games (both by a run) and won three, but didn't triumph until Miller didn't factor into the outcome.

It took until the next-to-last game of the season and 21st start for Miller, known as "Righty" since the Mets had two Bob Millers, to get his first win.

Marv Throneberry's seventh-inning double gave the Mets a 2-1 lead in that contest in Wrigley Field. Six days previous, Miller had pitched a gem against these same Cubs, allowing one run and two hits in eight innings, but when Gil Hodges struck out as a pinch-hitter in a tie game with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, the chance for triumph was gone.

This time, Miller sensed the finish and got there himself. The leadoff man reached for the Cubs in the home seventh, but none others would get on base. Miller closed the ninth inning with a flourish, striking out Andre Rodgers to end the game. It allowed him to finish the season with a 1-12 record, avoiding the distinction of becoming the first major leaguer to finish 0-13 or worse.

The Milling Mets Fan Knows...The worst winless record for a season in Mets history is 0-8, belonging to John Franco, who had that mark in 1998.


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