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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Hosting a Hundredth

Heartiest congratulations go out to Carlos Carrasco, who used the occasion of the Mets’ 100th game of the season to notch the 100th regular-season win of his career. He was supported in his effort Saturday night at Miami by solo home runs from Jeff McNeil, Francisco Lindor and J.D. Davis and backed up by another solid relief stint from Seth Lugo, all chipping in to make the Mets’ fifth consecutive triumph possible, but this was Cookie’s party, and he pitched well enough to earn both the milestone W and a celebratory Cookie Puss if he so desires one. He went 7⅔, scattered four hits, walked only two, struck out seven, induced a parade of lazy flyouts and easy grounders, and allowed no runs to any Marlins. Neither did Lugo, making Carrasco’s hundredth, a 4-0 shutout, that much more festive.

Gonna need a couple so every one of Cookie’s teammates gets some Puss.

In this age of de-emphasis on pitcher wins, any given hurler’s entry into triple-digits seems that much more noteworthy. Why, in my day, the fan who’s been around can’t help but contribute to the conversation, you didn’t even look up from your box scores until a pitcher won 300. Of course if you’re the pitcher reaching 100, it’s a big deal. If you’re a fan of the team for whom the pitcher is employed, it’s a nice bonus. Should we come to remember Cookie Carrasco as part of that championship staff from 2022, his milestone might become our milestone.

Proprietary Faith and Fear research (that would be me messing around on Baseball-Reference rather than going to sleep) indicates Carrasco is the eleventh pitcher to earn his 100th career win as a New York Met. That’s not the same as winning 100 games as a New York Met. Only three Met pitchers, each of them homegrown, can say they did that, and their identities should come as no surprise to the Mets fan who’s been following the team for more than five minutes: Tom Seaver (winning the hundredth of his career on May 11, 1972), Jerry Koosman (June 24, 1975) and Dwight Gooden (June 19, 1989). Just missing the 100 wins as a Met boat were 99-game winner Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez (98) and Al Leiter (95). Darling’s and Fernandez’s cases are a little heartbreaking given that, like Tom, Kooz and Doc, they started counting at 1 in a Mets uniform. So freaking close! Darling noted during Saturday’s telecast that his 100th came for Montreal while he waited for the Expos to trade him to Oakland. El Sid was an Oriole when he dug into his juicy round number.

Leiter, as a veteran, showed up at Shea with 60 wins in his pocket, and he stayed in Flushing as never less than a co-ace seven seasons The math suggests he must have won his 100th career game as a Met even if he fell five short of winning 100 games for the Mets. And the math is correct; Leiter claimed his 100th W on July 1, 2000, shutting down Atlanta the afternoon after Mike Piazza capped the ten-run inning that doesn’t require much elaboration even 22 years later. At that point, Al was 10-1 on the season and headed to his only All-Star Game as a Met. Presumably, he got to dress in the corner of the clubhouse reserved for pitchers who knew from the century mark.

Another long-timer who didn’t begin as a Met but put up significant numbers — and not just in the time of game column, wise guy — was Steve Trachsel. Given that he joined the Mets with 68 wins behind him and he’d stick around for six seasons, earning his 100th win while wearing a Mets uniform was only a matter of…yeah, time. In Trachsel’s case, the milestone became his on August 7, 2003, in Houston. Trachsel went five innings and the game took less than three hours. Steve would be a career 134-game winner before moving on from Queens. (And, no, it didn’t take him until last week.)

You know Johan Santana had a penchant for doing big things on June 1. Did you know that Johan’s 100th career win a) came as a Met; and b) came on June 1, 2008, four years before his slightly more famous June 1 outing? Santana broke through as his fellow Venezuelan Carrasco did, with 7⅔ innings of sound starting, defeating the Dodgers at Shea on a Sunday night. If you don’t remember the details, the Mets scored five in the third inning; Carlos Beltran, David Wright and Ryan Church each drove in a pair; and most every Mets fan was sure the ESPN booth got everything completely wrong (that last one is an educated guess).

For those who remember Ray Sadecki as our affable early-’70s swingman, it might surprise you to know good ol’ Ray racked up 135 wins in a career that stretched back to 1960 and encompassed a 20-win season for the 1964 world champion Cardinals. When the Mets brought the reliable lefty in to fortify their own title defense in 1970, Sadecki arrived with 99 wins in tow. No. 100 for Ray was his first as a Met, a six-inning start that was good enough to beat the Expos on May 12 at Shea. Serving as the bridge between Sadecki and Tug McGraw that Tuesday night was the previous season’s fourth starter, now assigned to bullpen duty: Don Cardwell, who took a different route to his 100th career win. Whereas Sadecki nailed his down with his first Met victory, Cardwell socked away his 100th with his final Met win, a 6-1 complete game conquest of the Pirates on September 21, 1969. Don not only knocked off the Bucs, he reduced the Mets’ magic number over the Cubs to 4. In the context of the day, the 4 was bigger than the 100.

Cardwell had two wins ahead of him after No. 100, both as a Brave after the Mets sent his contract south in July 1970. A similar trajectory awaited a Met pitcher who likely isn’t much remembered as a Met. Then again, the man pitched for eleven different teams, so he may not be remembered as specifically affiliated with anybody. On September 1, 2011, Miguel Batista alighted at Citi Field on a mission: pass 99 wins. The rosters expanded, the Mets were wallowing in the depths of the NL East (a division Miguel knew well) and, well, what the hell? Let’s give the 40-year-old journeyman a shot. Batista’s journey led him to what he sought: a 7-5 win over the Marlins, his personal hundredth. Miguel endured for the rest of September, wrapping up his latest major league detour with a distance-going blanking of the Reds on the season’s final day (perhaps you know it better as the afternoon Jose Reyes removed himself after one batting crown-clinching AB). The Mets dug Batista enough to invite him back for 2012. He’d win one more game and, like Cardwell, finish as a Brave…where he’d win no games, serving him right for committing such treachery.

Assuming Carrasco earns at least one more win as a Met, we can say one Met finished his career on exactly 100 wins as a result of winning his 100th as a Met. That would be Randy Jones, who also won the 1976 National League Cy Young Award that Jerry Koosman couldn’t quite pick off via a late surge. Jones the San Diego Padre was sensational. Jones the New York Met was at the end of the line — literally. On August 6, 1982, Randy threw six effective innings at Three Rivers Stadium, good enough for a 2-2 tie when George Bamberger lifted his starter for pinch-hitter Mookie Wilson. With Hubie Brooks on second and one out, Mookie grounded to second baseman Johnny Ray. Ray erred, letting Mookie reach and Hubie go to third. Mike Howard would walk, Bob Bailor would strike out, and Ellis Valentine? Ellis would single to center, bringing home Brooks and Wilson and ensuring Jones could enter the clubhouse as the pitcher on the long side. Neil Allen, money in those days, took care of the final three innings, meaning Randy Jones could enjoy the distinction of being a 100-game winner in the major leagues.

Which was fortuitous timing, given that Randy would make one more start, at Shea, and be knocked out in the first (I was there). Bamberger relegated him to relief, where things weren’t very good, either. Jones never pitched in the bigs after September 7, 1982. But he’s got that round number and, like Mets from Tom Seaver, who got there first, to Carlos Carrasco, who got there most recently, they can’t take that away from him.

FYI, Max Scherzer is four wins shy of 200. Maybe we’ll have a chance to revisit the next strata of this topic in the near future. Cripes, I’ve already done the research, so you can in-game bet we’re gonna revisit this stuff.

11 comments to Hosting a Hundredth

  • Peter Scarnati

    Kudos Greg.

    The research you do to bring us relevant Met history is, in a word,


  • open the gates

    There’s something cosmically unfair about the execrable Randy Jones scoring the century as a Met, while our own Jacob deGrom has yet to enter the conversation. One suspects that had Jake deGrominated in the era of complete games and 3-inning saves, he would long ago have added that particular notch to his belt. In any case, kudos to Cookie, who is not at all execrable, and deserves as much credit for this amazin’ season as anyone.

  • Eric

    Congratulations to Carrasco. He’s bounced back to being a solid 3 after his shaky start with the Mets.

    Scherzer’s career wins and the 200 milestone have stood out every start he’s been deGromed out of a win this season.

  • open the gates

    Thanks for the link to the Randy Jones article. To be clear, I only called him “execrable” in the “he was a superstar for another team, then came over here and forgot how to play” sense of the word. I’m sure he’s a perfectly lovely person, unlike some truly execrable folks who have worn the orange and blue (see: Coleman, V., for example).

    • I got your meaning, but it’s a tough adjective to throw out there. I saw him interviewed a few years ago by Steve Gelbs. Seemed like a real stand-up guy. (I’ve also heard the same in retirement of other unmissed Met mercenaries, but we don’t have to be total humanitarians about it.)

  • dmg

    since randy jones and jake degrom are being discussed, one link between the two:
    degrom’s 2018 cy young award missed being unanimous by one vote, that vote being cast by john maffei of the san diego union-tribune.
    maffei said a conversation with jones helped clarify his choice.

    from sny:
    Before casting his vote he spoke with a former Cy Young winner to help form his opinion.

    “I spoke with Randy Jones, a man I greatly respect,” Maffei wrote. “He was 22-14 with a bad Padres team in 1976 and won the Cy Young Award. In that conversation, Randy said, ‘Wins are the most important thing in the game. You need to pitch to the run support you get, whether that’s one, two, three or 12.

    “After speaking with other baseball experts, looking at Scherzer’s 2.53 ERA and his historic 300-strikeout season – making him one of only 17 pitchers to do that since 1900 – my vote was swayed.”

    • “John, did you even watch deGrom this season?” would have been a more apt reply (and, if I recall, Maffei wasn’t covering baseball in 2018, but the San Diego chapter of BBWAA needed warm bodies to fill out ballots).

      • dmg

        fun fact: back in the dawn of time, when i had an internship at the escondido (ca) times-advocate, john maffei was the sports editor. all i recall was that he sure liked to cover high school sports.