Nov 9, 2015

2000 N.L. Champion Mets Pitcher: Glendon Rusch (1999-2001)

Glendon James Rusch was born on November 7, 1974 in Seattle, Washington. The six foot two, left hander was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 17th round of the 1993 draft.

After his first two seasons pitching in pro ball, Rusch had a great season in 1995 at A ball Wilmington going 14-6 with 1.74 ERA. He then was pushed right up to AAA Omaha, the next year winning 11 games (11-9) posting a 3.98 ERA with 117 strike outs in 169 innings.

He was brought up to the Royals staff in 1997 & won his first start pitching eight shutout innings in Milwaukee against the Brewers. He went on to win six games in each of his first two seasons but posting losing records. In 1998 he lost 15 games which were fourth most in the league. He spent most of 1999 at AAA Omaha going 4-7 with a 4.74 ERA. In mid September of 1999 he was traded to the New York Mets for Dan Murray who had pitched just two innings allowing three runs that month as a Met.

Rusch debuted as a Met on September 17th, pitching one inning finishing off an 8-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies at Shea. Rusch settled into the 2000 NL Champion Mets staff as starter in the lower part of the rotation. He debuted on April 15th, pitching eight innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates giving up just two runs. Unfortunately, he took the loss as the Mets were shut out 1-0 by Jimmy Anderson. Rusch struggled at the start of the season going 2-4 by the end of May.

He then won four of five decisions through the month of June but had an ERA just below four. In July he lost three of four decisions, earning a win pitching seven shutout innings against the Montreal Expos on July 25th. Earlier in the month on July 8th, he was the Mets pitcher opposing Roger Clemmens in the subway series the night Mike Piazza was hit in the head with a pitch. Rusch went into the 8th inning striking out ten batters but took the 4-2 loss. He helped the Mets pennant chase by going 3-1 from August 28th on through the end of the season.

His best outing came in his next to last start of the regular season, he pitched eight innings at Philadelphia allowing just one run while striking out seven Phillies on September 24th. He finished the year at .500 going 11-11, tied with Bobby Jones & Rick Reed for third most wins on the staff. He struck out 157 batters in 190 innings pitched while posting a 4.01 ERA in 31 starts.


Post Season: Rusch didn’t get any starts in the post season, but appeared in six games in relief. He earned a win in Game #4 of the NLCS at Shea Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals. That night he pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Bobby Jones in the Mets 10-6 win. He saw action in three games of the Subway World Series pitching four innings allowing one run on six hits, earning no decisions.

In 2001 he was knocked out of the game by the third inning in his first start of the year, but earned no decision. On April 17th he pitched seven shutout innings against the Montreal Expos, but found himself up & down over next two months. On July 14th he allowed just one hit in eight innings of work against the Boston Red Sox, where he struck out ten batters. The only hit of the game was disputed call on a bunt base hit.

By mid July he was 6-6 but then won just two more decisions in August & September. Rusch had his last good outing in early September, pitching a one run complete game victory over the Florida Marlins at Pro Player Stadium. He pitched the third game after the return of baseball after the 911 attacks, earning no decision in the win, completing the Mets sweep of the Pirates in Pittsburgh. The 2-6 record in the final two months gave him an 8-12 season record, posting an ERA of 4.63.

In the off season he was part of a big house cleaning three team trade involving the Mets, Milwaukee Brewers & Colorado Rockies. The Mets sent Rusch & Lenny Harris to the Milwaukee Brewers. They also sent Benny Agbayani &Todd Zeile to the Colorado Rockies. In return the Mets received Jeromy Burnitz, Jeff D'Amico, Ross Gload, Lou Collier, Craig House & Mark Sweeney in the deal.

Rusch would win ten games in Milwaukee, but also lead the NL in losses with 16. It was the last time he would put up double figures in victories. The next year was an absolute nightmare for Rusch, as he went 1-12 with an ERA over six. In 2004 he signed a three year deal with the Chicago Cubs, where he would pitch as starter & reliever. In 2004 he turned it around going 6-2 with a pair of saves posting a 3.47 ERA.

In 2006 he was diagnosed with a life threatening blood clot in his lung & missed the entire 2007 season. He recovered well & was back on the mound in 2008 pitching with the San Diego Padres. After 12 games (going 1-2) he was traded to the Colorado Rockies where he ended his career.

In a 12 season career he posted a career 67-99 record, with 1088 strikeouts 460 walks in 1477 innings pitched in 342 appearances. Rusch pitched three shut outs with eleven complete games After the 2009 season he was pitching in the PBL league in California.

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