Countdown to Opening Day: 1
March 31st, 2011 by slangon

One more day. Until. Baseball.

The starting pitcher for the 1986 New York Mets – The Doctor, Dwight Gooden.

Coming off of a Rookie of the Year Award in 1984 followed by a Cy Young Award in 1985, Gooden had another good year in ’86, although after the previous 2 years his numbers were actually down a little. His record was 17-6, as opposed to 17-9 in 1984 and 24-4 in 1985. He struck out an even 200 in 1986 as opposed to 276 and 268 in ’84 and ’85 respectively. His ERA was 2.60 in 1984 and 1.53 in 1985. This ballooned to 2.84 in 1986. Either way, those are still pretty nice numbers for a 21 year old, but like I said, after what he did in the previous 2 years, it was a little disappointing.

Although his performance during the regular season was really good, Doc didn’t fair so well in the post-season. In the NLCS, he did better than his numbers would indicate. His record was 0-1, but his his ERA was a slim 1.06. He only gave up 2 runs in 17 innings over 2 starts, but somehow didn’t get a win. He had a pretty terrible World Series, going 0-2 in 2 starts. This time, his record is pretty accurate. He only pitched 9 innings in those 2 starts and gave up 8 earned runs for a big old 8.00 ERA. HE did hit .500 in the World Series, although going 1 for 2 isn’t exactly the world’s largest sample size.

Being that Johan Santana is on the shelf, the Mets will be handing the ball to Mike Pelfrey tomorrow.

When you look at Mike’s overall stat line from last season, it looks pretty good. He went 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA and 113 punch outs. He even cut his balks down to 1 from 6 the previous season. When you look a little closer, things get a little confusing. The first half of the season, not too many pitchers were hotter than Pelfrey. At the end of June, he was 10-2 with a 2.93 ERA. He even managed to pick up his first career save in that epic 20 inning game the Mets played against St. Louis in April. Then from the beginning of July to the middle of August something happened and he just lost it. He went 1-5 with a 7.37 ERA in 8 starts. He was able to right his ship pretty well down the stretch, going 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA over his final 9 starts. He also had 3 no-decisions during that time where he went at least 7 innings allowing 3 or less runs. In short, although Mike certainly had some bright spots to his season, what could’ve been a really brilliant year was marred by a month or so of really bad performances. Can he figure out what happened and do what it takes to correct that? I guess only time will tell.

One thing I do find fairly disturbing though is Mike’s career record against the Marlins, who the Mets will be facing tomorrow. Unfortunately for Big Pelf and the Mets, Mike is 1-6 lifetime against the Fish. 1-6 with a 5.32 ERA to boot. Hopefully after tomorrow he’ll be 2-6. You gotta start somewhere, Mike.

In the mean time, we’ll have to give the advantage to the 1986 squad.

RF – 1986
CF – 2011
LF – 2011
SS – 2011
3B – 2011
2B – 1986
1B – 1986
C – 1986
P – 1986

That means the 1986 Mets have edged the 2011 Mets by 1. By the way, Dwight Goodens line score from Opening Day of 1986: 9.o IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1BB, 6 K. Let’s hope Mike can throw up some similar numbers and start this season off right.

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