On this date, 1973, a first blow was struck against the tyranny of pitcher wins. Tom Seaver, with 19 wins, 18 complete games, 251 strikeouts, and a 2.08 ERA, won the National League Cy Young Award without reaching the 20 win threshold, the first pitcher in history to do so. Seaver's second Cy Young classed him with Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson as the only two-time winners in the National League. Ron Bryant of the Giants was the League's only 20-game winner (24, precisely), and despite a league-average ERA, he placed third in the voting. In second place was Montreal's rubber-armed relief man Mike Marshall. In case you're worried the voters truly smartened up, Marshall won the Cy Young outright the next year, pitching an incredible number of innings for a reliever -- 208.1 -- but accruing less than half the value of the Mets' "losing pitcher" Jon Matlack. Matlack was 13-15 but, with seven complete game shutouts, he was probably the league's best pitcher -- and received no Cy Young votes.
- Tim Byrdak is 39. The loony LOOGY has pitched 68.1 innings with the Mets -- less than I thought, from an older man than I thought -- striking out 81 and walking 37. In early August he went down with an anterior capsule injury in his pitching shoulder, and this off season he's an unrestricted free agent. The contract status of Little Jerry Seinfeld is unclear.
- The Mets signed Steve Trachsel, 42 today, before the 2001 season, and his six years of New York service brought him through the pennant run in 2006. "The Human Rain Delay" has the most wins (66) and the most losses (59) of any Met in the 2000s, but after his poor play and demotion in '01 he was mostly, ploddingly reliable. Ironically, Trachsel's 15-win 2006 was probably his worst year as a Met.
A slew of Mets were granted their free agencies, but as this settles nothing, I'm not sure they count as transactions. In 2007, the Mets signed Damion Easley for additional year. Playing all over, he got into 118 games in '08. Did you know: With 132, Damien Easley is 36th all-time in getting hit by pitches.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
On October 31, 2002, a federal grand jury indicted former Enron CEO Andrew Fastow on 78 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice, about eight months after Enron Field shed its ignominious sponsor and became Astros Field. For a while there, it looked conceivable that the Astros' sister-in-expansion franchise, the Mets, could be playing in Taxpayer Stadium.