Nov 3, 2014

Early Eighties Mets Pitcher: Brent Gaff (1982-1984)

Brent Allen Gaff was born October 5, 1958 in Fort Wayne Indiana. The six foot two right hander, was drafted by the New York Mets sixth round of the 1977 draft as a starting pitcher.

He had a successful minor league career right away going 10-5 with a 2.98 ERA at A ball Wausau in the Mid Western League. In 1981 he was 14-6 with a 2.82 ERA between AA Jackson & AAA Tidewater. After going 9-8 in 1982 with the Tides he got a call up to the Mets in July.

He debuted on July 7th, in a game against the San Francisco Giants tat Shea Stadium. He pitched into the 8th inning allowing three runs, including a two run HR to Reggie Smith, taking a 3-2 loss. He made five starts, pitching in seven games overall going 0-3, getting sent back down to AAA Tidewater by early August.

In 1983 he converted to being a reliever and became the Tidewater Tides best pitcher out of the bullpen. He recorded five saves with a 6-7 record, impressing the big league club. Manager Frank Howard brought him up in September when the big league club needed a reliever. On October 1st, 1983 he earned his first MLB victory, pitching five innings to beat the Montreal Expos. It certainly wasn’t pretty, as he gave up four runs on ten hits, but a win is a win.

Gaff was in the Mets bullpen again for the 1984 season, as the club turned their fortunes around, winning 90 games. Gaff appeared in 47 games, going 3-2 with a save and a 3.63 ERA. He gave up 36 walks with 42 strike outs & 34 earned runs in 84 innings pitched. The next year he pitched only one game at AAA Tidewater & tore his rotator cuff which finished off his career.

In three seasons Gaff pitched in 58 games going 4-5 with a save & a 4.06 ERA while striking out 60 batters & walking 47 batters in 126 innings pitched.

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