Armando Reynoso: Former Mets Pitcher Who Started Out Two Seasons at 5-0 (1997 - 1998)

Armando Martin (Gutierrez) Reynoso
was born on May 1st, 1966, in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The six-foot right hander began pitching in the Mexican League.

MLB Career: In 1991 he came over to MLB getting signed by the Atlanta Braves. After two brief seasons appearing in nine games with Atlanta he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies as the 58th pick of the 1992 expansion draft.

In 1993 Reynoso was the Rockies ace winning 12 games (12-11) being the only pitcher on the Colorado staff to win in double figures. Injures limited him to just nine games the next year & in 1995 he was used mostly as a reliever. In 1996 he was 8-9 with a 4.96 ERA being used again in a starting role. In November of 1996 he was traded to the New York Mets for Jerry Dipoto.

Mets Career: In 1997 Reynoso had a great Spring Training, starting out by throwing seven shutout innings over two starts before having elbow troubles. On April 13th, he made his Mets regular season debut, pitching five shutout innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers while earning his Met first win. Toby Borland came on & shut out the Dodgers in the final four innings.

Reynoso ended up with three straight no decisions, allowing three runs in each outing. On May 7th Reynoso pitched eight innings, while allowing just one run on four hits, against the Astros in Houston earning his second win (2-0). On May 24th he went seven innings allowing just one run, as he won his third game (3-0) beating the Phillies at the Vet. 

In his next start, he beat the Phillies Mark Leiter, Al's brother at Shea Stadium. He pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs on six hits, walking no one & striking out three. 

Reynoso would pitch well enough, for Manager Bobby Valentine to insert him in the Mets rotation of Bobby Jones, Rick Reed, Dave Mlicki & Mark Clark. 

On June 5th Reynoso pitched a five hit complete game, shut out at Shea Stadium, beating the Florida Marlins 6-0. It bested his record to 5-0, making him just the fourth Mets pitcher at that point in history to start out a season at 5-0 & posting a 2.55 ERA going into June. 

Trivia: Since then, Pedro Martinez (2006) & Matt Harvey (2015) have matched this feat.

On June 17th in the second official subway series regular season game, he took his first loss of the season, as he allowed four runs & five hits getting knocked out in the 2nd inning.  He followed with a win at Pittsburgh pitching into the 7th inning allowing two runs.

By mid-July he took two losses & was 6-3 with a 4.53 ERA when his season was cut short due to recurring injuries. 

1998 Season: Reynoso didn't return until July 24th, 1998, when he pitched eight shutout innings beating the Cubs 5-0 at Wrigley Field. 

Upon his return Reynoso was fantastic, in his next start he beat the Los Angeles Dodgers allowing just a run on two hits in seven innings. On August 8th he beat the Rockies in Colorado allowing two earned runs in seven innings to get to 3-0.

On August 15th, although he allowed four runs in Arizona, he was still the winning pitcher in a 5-4 Mets win. In his next start on August 21st at Shea Stadium, Reynoso matched his club tying Mets record, of winning his first five decisions in a season. He shut out the Cardinals for seven innings, as he beat Manny Abar & St. Louis Cards in a 1-0 pitcher's duel. Turk Wendell & John Franco completed the Mets shut out win.

On Augst 27th, Reynoso took a loss in San Francisco where he allowed seven runs on ten hits in just 4.2 innings or work. He went on to pitch eight innings in two straight starts, earning wins both times. 

For the 1997 season he went 7-3 with a .700 winning % (second-best among Mets starters). He posted a 3.82 ERA, striking out 40 walking 32 in 91.1 innings of work in 11 starts.

Reynoso was granted free agency at the end of the season & signed with the Arizona Diamond backs. He won double figures in each of the next two seasons there, going 10-6 in the D-backs 1999 playoff season. He did not pitch in the ALDS loss to his old Mets team mates. Reynoso pitched four seasons in Arizona retiring after the 2002 season.

Career Stats: In his career he went 68-62 with one save & a 4.74 ERA, he had 554 strikeouts, with 376 walks & in 1079 innings in 198 appearances in 186 starts. 

Retirement: Reynoso pitched for Mexico National team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. In 2010 he was elected to the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame.


Metshistorian said…
He had the best pickoff move for a right handed I’ve ever seen! I wonder why he hasn’t been asked to coach and teach that move to others.

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