Tom Seaver wrote himself into the record books on this date in 1975. The Franchise whiffed 10 Buccos in a 3-0 blanking of the Pirates to become the first pitcher in MLB history with at least 200 strikeouts in eight consecutive seasons. Prior to Seaver's feat, the record had been the sole possession of Walter Johnson, who reeled off seven straight seasons of 200+ Ks between 1910 and 1916. While not as effective a metric for measuring mound value as WAR or FIP, if a pitcher has a high number of Walter Johnson records broken, or WALJORB, chances are he's pretty good. Tom Seaver was pretty good.
Just over one year later, Seaver would punch out eight Phillies on September 3 to reach 200 Ks for the ninth season in a row. That's the current record and it seems unlikely to be broken soon. Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum have the longest active streaks, each having done it the past four years, but both pitchers would need incredibly strong finishes (Halladay in particular) to top the two century mark in 2012.
- Derek Wallace is 41. A former first round pick, Wallace flamed out as a starter, but the Mets gave him a shot as a closer in the waning weeks of the the 1996 season. In his second career save chance, he became the first Met to fan four batters in an inning.
- David West (1988-1989) is 48. David West had the misfortune of being the top Mets pitching prospect at a time when the rotation included Dwight Gooden, David Cone, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez, Bob Ojeda, and Rick Aguilera. As such, the lefty was just about preordained to be trade bait. He was almost dispatched to Seattle (along with Howard Johnson, Sid Fernandez, and fellow prospect Kevin Tapani) for Mark Langston and Jay Buhner before the 1989 season, but both teams got cold feet. Four months later, the Mets' toes must have warmed up again, because they included West in the deal for Frank Viola.
Tug McGraw recorded the final out of the Mets' 3-0 victory over the Braves on September 1, 1974. He also recorded the 26 outs prior to Dusty Baker's pop fly to center. Making his second spot start of the season, Tug was masterful, holding Atlanta to just five hits, all of them singles, over nine scoreless innings. The complete game shutout was the first and only of Tug's career and, ultimately, his last win as a Met.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Today is the Feast of St. Giles, according to the Christian liturgical calendar. Giles was the patron saint of noctiphobics, or those who are afraid of the dark. Former Mets second baseman Brian Giles hit like a noctiphobic, posting an .723 OPS during the day, but only .548 in games played after sundown.