Apr 25, 2015

Early 2000's Mets Relief Pitcher: Scott Strickland (2002-2003)

Scott Michael Strickland was born April 26, 1976 in Houston, Texas. The right handed fastball pitcher was drafted out of the University of New Mexico by the Montreal Expos in the 10th round in 1997.

After a brief two year period in the minors, Strickland made his debut with the Expos, in 1999 going 0-1 in 17 games. In 2000, the Expos only won 67 games and Steve Kline was their main closer with 14 saves. Strickland would eventually take over that closer role, posting a 3.00 ERA and finishing up 4-3 with nine saves. The next year he lost that job to Uqueth Urbina, but he still saved nine games with a 3.21 ERA but posted a 2-6 record.

During the first week of the 2002 season he was traded to the New York Mets for pitcher Bruce Chen. At the time it was believed Scott could help a weak Mets bullpen and possibly even be their future closer. He’ll always be remembered for wearing that thick silver chair around his neck, while on the mound.

He made his Mets debut on April 6th pitching the 7th inning in Atlanta in a 11-2 walloping of the Braves. The next night he blew a save opportunity, serving up an 8th inning RBi single to Mark Derosa. The Braves won the game in the 14th inning on a walk off HR by Marcus Giles off Mets pitcher Satoru Komiyama.

But in his first month, he would not allow another run & finished April with an 0.87 ERA & five holds. In the last week of May, he benefited with three Mets late comebacks to earn victories each time, getting his record to a best 5-2. As the season went on, he would win just one more game & take losses seven more times. In the set up role he would not earn another hold in the final two months.

He finished at 6-9 with two saves & 15 holds posting a 3.59 ERA in 68 appearances. Strickland did strike out 69 batters in 69 innings pitched. In 2003 he started out 0-2 but had a good 2.25 ERA before injuries led him to Tommy John surgery ruining his career. The Mets eventually released him.

After rehab & hard work, he returned two years later, to pitch four innings with the 2005 Houston Astros. He pitched in the minors a few more years but never made it back. 

In a six year career he was 12-21 with 3.34 ERA, striking out 243 batters while walking 112 batters & twenty saves. in 242 innings over 239 appearances.

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