Darrell Sutherland: Mid Sixties Mets Pitcher (1964 - 1966)

Darrell Wayne Sutherland was born on November 14, 1941, in Glendale, California. Glendale was the hometown of Casey Stengle. The tall 6’ 4” lanky right hander, attended Stanford University, getting signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1963. 

The next year he was selected as a first-year waiver pick by the New York Mets. The 19-year-old youngster went 10-1 at AAA Buffalo that season getting brought up to the Mets staff in late June. 

Mets Career: On June 28th, 1964, in the first game of a double header with the Milwaukee Braves, Sutherland made his MLB debut. He was knocked out in the 1st inning, allowing five earned runs on five hits & walking two batters. Hank Aaron collected a two-run single & Gene Oliver a two-run triple.

Manager Casey Stengle brought him relief in the second games of that double header as well. Sutherland pitched two innings giving up three runs. A painful debut day had him give up eight runs in 2.1 innings over two games.

On July 2nd he made his second start, this one at the Astrodome. He pitched five solid innings allowing two runs, but the Mets only scored one run for him & Sutherland was given another loss. 

Sutherland was placed in the bullpen the rest of the month, making three appearances. On July 23rd he made another start, giving up five runs losing to the Reds in Cincinnati. 

Hall of Fame Game: Sutherland to start the Mets first ever appearance in the Hall of Fame game at Cooperstown, NY. He was the losing pitcher to the Washington Senators.

By August 8th he was 0-3 & had given up a total of 26 runs in 26 innings pitched in his ten appearances (7.76 ERA). It was a classic example of a young pitcher brought up to early & a bad team desperate for talent.

1965: Sutherland started out going 8-8 at AAA Buffalo with a 3.99 ERA. The Mets were still in need of pitching & he was brought back up in early August. 

First Career Win: On August 14th he earned his first career win coming in relief of Galen Cisco at the Houston Astrodome. Sutherland went head-to-head with Larry Dierker & pitched four scoreless innings of the 1-0 win. In the top of the 10th, Ron Hunt reached on an error with the bases loaded, bringing in Chuck Hiller with the winning run. 

Trivia: The next day Al Jackson shut out the Astros, making it the first time in Mets history they threw back-to-back shut outs.

Sutherland earned two more relief wins in late September, both coming on the road at Chicago & Pittsburgh. On October 2nd, the Mets & Phillies played an 18 scoreless tie. After Rob Gardner had shut out the Phils for 15 innings, Sutherland came on & pitched two scoreless to get to the 18th. Jack Baldschun pitched the final inning.

That season he appeared in 18 games (two starts) finishing the year 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA. He struck out 16 & walked 17 in 48 innings pitched. He was just one of three Mets pitchers (Jim Bethke & Dick Selma the others) with a winning record.

1966: Sutherland made the Mets staff out of Spring Training & spent most of the year with the big-league club. On April 26th he was credited with a hold, although he gave up three runs at Wrigley Field in the Mets 14-11 win. Three days later he notched a save in Pittsburgh but was sent back down to AAA for two months due to his 7.76 ERA. 

When he returned, he struggled but posted a 2-0 record, allowing 60 hits with 25 walks in only 44 innings pitched, posting a 4.67 ERA in 31 appearances on the year. 

This year he spent the entire year in the minors where he went 6-3 at AA Williamsport, which was fourth best on the team. 

Post Mets Career: In November of 1967 he was drafted away by the Cleveland Indians. In 1968 he pitched three games for them at the major league level posting an 8.10 ERA. Darrell then pitched in the minors through 1969 with AAA Portland. 

Career Stats:  In his brief four-year career, he was 5-4 winning all his games in relief & losing all his games as a starter. He posted a 4.78 career ERA with 11 saves, 50 strikeouts & 58 walks allowed in 122 innings in 62 appearances. 

At the plate he was a good hitter, batting .238 lifetime going 5-21.


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