Jan 3, 2016

Mid Eighties Mets Pitcher: Tom Gorman (1983-1985)

Thomas Patrick Gorman was born on December 16, 1957 in Portland Oregon. The tall six foot four left hander, was signed by the Montreal Expos in fourth round of the 1980 draft.

Gorman was a 12 game winner (12-9) at AA Memphis in 1981 & was promoted to AAA Wichita in 1982. That year he got his MLB debut on September 2nd at Cincinnati pitching the 5th through the 7th innings. He closed out the season in a 2-1 loss to the New York Mets.

In 1982 he got his first career win in a May game against the Houston Astros at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. That day he found himself in an elevator with hall of Fame pitchers; Nolan Ryan & Don Sutton both members of the Astros. He got them to crack a smile when he commented “there’s a lot of wins in this elevator. 

Later that season he was traded to the New York Mets for a player to be named later, who turned out to be Joel Youngblood. After a brief games with AAA Tidewater he made a September call up for three games, debuting as a Met on September 18th in relief, in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 1983 he was pitching at AAA Tidewater where he was 6-1 with a 2.92 ERA, earning a promotion to the Mets that June. 

In his first outing on June 21st, he was given a start. but he was hit for five runs on six hits, taking a loss to the Cardinals at Shea. A week later in St. Louis he took another loss giving up HRs to Andy Van Slyke & David Green. He made two more starts in July taking losses in Atlanta & Cincinnati before going to the bullpen the rest of the year. In 25 appearances he went 1-4 posting a 4.93 ERA, striking out 30 batters in 42 innings.

He began 1984 at AAA Tidewater but was back up by May, putting in a real good year out of the Mets bullpen. On June 6th he got his first win, when Wally Backman scored a run in the top of the 13th inning on a wild pitch, in a game against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. In July he earned a save, a win & hold. As the Mets had their first winning season in seven season, they were chasing the Chicago Cubs for the NL Eastern Title.

In September Gorman recorded three relief wins, and allowed just one earned run in six outings. After August 1st he had only allowed one earned run eleven outings. He went 6-0 on the year with a 2.97 ERA, striking out 40 batters over 52 innings pitching in 36 games.

On Opening Day 1985 he was the winning pitcher in relief of Doc Gooden, when Gary Carter hit a walk off game winning HR against the St. Louis Cardinals in his Mets debut. Gorman became known to his team mates as “Goose Koufax” and he was certainly involved in some crazy games.

  He took the loss on April 23rd, ending a personal eight game winning that had begun back in 1983. His next win cathirty.me at the end of April, when he was the winning pitcher of an 18 inning win against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Shea Stadium. In that game, Mookie Wilson scored the winning run when Clint Hurdle reached first base on an error.

On June 11th he made a rare start in Philadelphia and was pummeled for six runs in the first inning, taking the loss in a 26-7 Phillies slaughter over the Mets. Gorman was also the winning pitcher in one of the longest & zaniest Mets game in their history; it was The Fourth of July 1985 game in Atlanta, against the Braves.

In this six hour 19 inning marathon, Gorman came in during the 14th inning with New York ahead 10-8. He allowed a two run game tying HR to the Braves Terry Harper, sending the tie game to the top of the 18th. 

The Mets went ahead on a Len Dykstra sac fly. But instead of wrapping it up in the bottom of the 18th, Gorman allowed another game tying HR. This time it came off the bat of weak hitting pitcher; Rick Camp. Gorman & the Mets had stunned looks on their faces as it seemed like the game would never end.

The Mets ended up winning it in the 19th inning, as they got an RBI double by Ray Knight scoring Gary Carter, as well as RBI singles from Danny Heep & Wally Backman. These hits came off the pitcher; Rick Camp who had homered earlier to tie it off Gorman. Ron Darling closed out the game earning a save. 

When Fulton County Stadium had its fireworks display at 230 AM the nearby residents of Atlanta thought they were under attack.

Gorman would get only one more decision on the year, a loss on July 11th to the Houston Astros. He would pitch with the team through the end of the year, making 34 appearances. 

On the 1985 season he was 4-4 with a 2.97 ERA. He had 32 strike outs & 18 walks while allowing 56 hits, eight HRs & 30 earned runs in 56 innings.

He began Spring Training 1986 as a member of the Mets but was cut on April fool’s Day. He briefly played in Philadelphia & San Diego before finishing his seven year career the next year at age 30.

In a seven year career he was 12-10 with 144 strikeouts & 66 walks in 213 innings pitched, posting a 4.34 ERA.

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