Feb 24, 2016

Brooklyn Born Eighties Mets Pitcher: Ed Lynch (1980-1986)

Edward Francis Lynch was born on February 25th, 1956 in Brooklyn, New York. The Lynch family soon moved to Miami where Ed played both basketball & baseball.

The six foot six inch tall, Lynch was such a good basketball player, he went to the University of South Carolina on a basketball contract. 

Eventually he was drafted as a baseball player by the Texas Rangers in 1977 and signed in the 22nd round. In 1979 he was the player to be named later for Willie Montanez coming over to the New York Mets. After two seasons of pitching under .500 in the Texas organization he took it to a new level with the Mets. He won 13 games at AAA Tidewater in 1980 (13-6) tied for the most wins on the staff with Mike Scott. 

Lynch got called up on August 31st 1980 pitching two innings of relief in San Francisco against the Giants. In just 1.1 innings of work he was roughed up for four runs. He made his first start on September 13th at Shea Stadium against the Chicago Cubs. That night he allowed one run over six innings earning his first career victory. He had another good outing in his third start, pitching seven shutout innings against the eventual World Champion Phillies, but got no decision. 

 In 1981 he began the year at AAA Tidewater going 7-6, coming back up to the Mets staff in May. In his second start he pitched into the 8th inning beating the San Francisco Giants & veteran Doyle Alexander 3-2. But Lynch lost his next three decisions and was sent back to AAA Tidewater on June 3rd. 

He returned to the Mets in mid August & quickly earned a win in Atlanta. On August 18th he pitched shutout ball into the 8th inning, beating the Braves 4-0. He then beat the Cardinals at Shea Stadium but lost his last two decisions. Lynch finished out the year at 4-5 with a 2.91 ERA making 13 starts in 17 appearances. He struck out 27 batters, walking 21 & averaged just 2.1 walks per nine innings (6th best in the NL). 

 In 1982 he was used as a reliever at the start of the season, making a few spot starts then returning to the rotation by mid August. He beat the Chicago Cubs at Shea Stadium for his second win of the year on August 15th. In his next start he shut out the Atlanta Braves for nine innings, but earned no decision in a game the Mets would lose when Dale Murphy hit a walk off HR off Pat Zachary. Lynch finished up the season at 4-8 with two saves and a 3.55 ERA. He walked 40 batters in 139 innings pitched. 

By 1983 he was one of the Mets top pitchers on the staff, that included the return of veteran Tom Seaver who went 9-14, Mike Torrez (10-17) , Walt Terrell (8-8) & Craig Swan (2-8).

After a 1-1 April, he was placed in the starting rotation in May. He quickly went 3-1 into early June. On June 28th he allowed just one run over seven innings, defeating the reigning champion St. Louis Cardinals.

On July 2nd, he beat the Phillies 4-3 in Philadelphia & was leading the team with a 6-3 record, posting a 3.35 ERA. From there on though he struggled the rest of the way going 4-7. His season was highlighted with a complete game victory at San Francisco on August 20th, where he walked no one & struck out two in the 7-2 win. 

He finished the year tying Mike Torrez for the team lead in victories with ten (10-10). Lynch posted a 4.28 ERA, walking 41 batters but allowed 208 hits. He was never a strikeout pitcher, he struck out just 44 batters in 174 innings pitched that season. That year at the plate he drove in four runs, batting .154 with eleven sac hits (10th best in the NL). The '83 Mets went 68-94 finishing sixth, but better things were on the way. 

In 1984 as the Mets starting rotation got better, with the emergence of Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, & Sid Fernandez, Lynch began the year in the bullpen. Walt Terrell & Bruce Berenyi were the other two main starters. In April he won two games in relief with Mets come backs, after entering in the 8th inning. 

On May 2nd he had a four rinning relief efforts against the Astros & although he gave up two runs, still earned his third win. Lynch was back in the rotation by mid May, beating the Dodgers in Los Angeles in his first start, He allowed three runs over five innings in the 4-3 Met win. He had a fantastic start to June, winning three straight games allowing just three earned runs over twenty innings, in games against St. Louis, Montreal & Pittsburgh. 

 He brought his record up to 7-1 with a 2.64 ERA, by mid June, but then struggled losing four straight, allowing four runs or more three times, finding himself back in the bullpen. He earned two saves in July & a win on July 23rd, when Wally Backman ended the 12th inning with a walk off RBI single against Neil Allen & the St. LOuis Cardinals. 

Brawl:  On August 2nd, during the heat of a pennant race while chasing the first place Chicago Cubs, Lynch nailed Chicago's Keith Moreland with a pitch in the second game of a double header at Wrigley Field.

Moreland had hit a three run HR earlier, off Ron Darling in the first game of the twin bill. The pitch lead Moreland, who was a former college line backer, to charge the mound. This led to a full scale bench clearing brawl. 

Lynch finished the year pitching in relief, going 9-8 with two saves and a 4.50 ERA. He struck out 62 batters while walking 24 in 124 innings in 40 appearances. The Mets ended the year a respectable second place six & a half games behind the Cubs. 
 In 1985 he would see more times as a starter, getting29 starts in 31 appearances. He pitched the fourth game of the promising Mets season, going seven innings allowing just one run on four hits. But he earned no decision, as the Reds Tom Browning matched him through seven innings. It wasn't until Daryl Strawberry hit a walk off HR off John Franco when the Mets won it 2-1. 

Lynch got his first win pitching a complete game in Cincinnati on May 3rd. He then threw a five hit shutout against the Atlanta Braves on May 8th, in his next start. He then took a pair of losses & was 3-3 in June.

On June 8th he threw eight innings of shutout ball against the rival St. Louis Cardinals, but earned no decision as the Mets lost a tough 1-0 game to John Tudor. 
 On June 18th he returned to throw another complete game, this time a 5-1 eight hitter against the Chicago Cubs at Shea. In July he began a six game personal winning streak which included complete games against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros & Cubs once again. 

On August 11th he beat the Cubs again but it was his last winning decision of the year. He would go 0-2 with five no decisions the rest of the way. Overall he put in a solid 1985 season, behind Dwight Gooden & Ron Darling; matching his career best ten wins, going 10-8 with six complete games.

Once again he had one of the lowest walk ratios in the league (3rd best) at 1.2 per nine innings, walking just 27 batters. He posted a 3.44 ERA with 65 strike outs, in a career high 191 innings pitched. 

In the Mets 1986 Championship season, Lynch pitched two innings of relief at Philadelphia in the third game of the season in an 9-8 loss to the Phillies. An injury set him back & after pitching four games at AAA Tidewater he was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Dave Liddell & Dave Lenderman. 
 There wasn't much room on the talented 1986 Mets staff, as the popular Lynch finished his Mets career at 38-40 with a 3.82 ERA in 167 appearances, throwing seven complete games. 

His pitching career in Chicago, spanned just two more seasons, for the rest of the 1986 season he was 7-5, in 23 games. On September 25th at Wrigley Field. he was the losing pitcher in a 4-3 loss to the Mets. He gave up hits to Keith Hernandez & Gary Carter before getting replaced by Lee Smith. Smith then allowed a fielders choice to Ray Knight scoring Hernndez. Lynch went 2-9 in 58 appearances in 1987 deciding to retire at the end of the season. 

In his eight year career, Lynch had a 47-54 life time record with eight saves, & a 4.00 ERA. In 940 innings pitched he walked 229 batters with 396 strikeouts in 248 games. 

 Retirement: After baseball he went to the University of Miami and earned himself a law degree. The ex- big leaguer was popular with the other students, always letting them try on his 1986 World Series ring the Mets had awarded him for starting out the season with them. 

He got back into baseball in management positions with the San Diego Padres & then the Chicago Cubs where he became General Manager from 1994-2000. 

He resigned in 2000, becoming a scout with the Cubs & then with the Toronto Blue Jays. Lynch currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona.

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