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

Darrell Wayne Sutherland was born on November 14, 1941 in Glendale, California. 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 youngster went 10-1 at AAA Buffalo that season getting brought up to the Mets staff in late June. 

On June 28th, 1964 Sutherland debuted against the Milwaukee Braves, getting knocked out in the first inning, allowing five earned runs walking two batters. On July 2nd he made a start at the Astrodome, pitching five solid innings allowing two runs, but the Mets only scored one run for him & Sutherland was given another loss. 

He was placed in the bullpen the rest of the month, getting a start on July 23rd losing to the Reds in Cincinnati. 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, even though he was not ready for the big leagues. 

In 1965 Sutherland was 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. He earned his first career win at the Houston Astrodome pitching four scoreless innings of a 1-0 win, where Ron Hunt reached on an error with the bases loaded scoring Chuck Hiller. 

He earned two more relief wins in late September, both coming on the road at Chicago & Pittsburgh. He appeared in 18 games mostly in mid relief, finishing up 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA. 

In 1966 he 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. 

In 1967 he went 6-3 at AA Williamsport, fourth best on the team. In November of 1967 he was drafted away by the Cleveland Indians & pitched three games for them at the major league level in 1968, posting an 8.10 ERA. He pitched in the minors through 1969 with AAA Portland. 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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