Feb 26, 2016

Mid Nineties Mets Pitcher: Pete Smith (1994)

Peter John Smith was born on February 27, 1966 in Abington, Massachusetts. The six foot two right hander, was a 1984 first round draft pick (21st pick overall) for the Philadelphia Phillies. A year later he was traded along with Ozzie Virgil, to the Atlanta Braves for Steve Bedrosian and Milt Thompson. 

Smith would debut with Atlanta in September 1987 pitching in six games as a starter. The next year he was 7-15 with a 3.69 ERA, tying a young Tom Glavine for the team lead in wins. That year the Braves finished last going 54-106. In 1989 he was 5-14 on another last place Braves team. Smith remained in Atlanta for seven seasons as the Braves got better & went to two consecutive World Series. 

 In the Braves 1991 NL Pennant season he only made ten starts, as he spent time in the minors, appearing in 14 Braves games going just 1-3. He had his best season in 1992, as the Braves won another pennant. Smith began the year at AAA Richmond going 7-4 with a 2.14 ERA , getting up to the Atlanta staff in early August. 


He surprised everyone, as he went 7-0 with a 2.05 ERA, making 11 starts with two complete game victories. He pitched three games in the 1992 post season, all in relief, allowing one run in six innings pitched. He would fall off the next season dropping to 4-8 with a 4.37 ERA, allowing 15 HRs in 90 innings. That winter Smith got traded to the New York Mets for Bob Gallagher.

 In 1994 Smith was the Mets third starter behind Bret Saberhagen & Bobby Jones. The rotation also included Mike Remlinger & Jason Jacome. He debuted on April 5th, 1994 in the Mets second game of the year. He got his first Mets win that day, in a 6-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The win helped the Mets sweep the series & begin the year at 3-0. Smith gave up six runs over five innings in his second star, losing 6-1 at Houston. 

He lost three straight decisions in April, as his ERA rose to near six. At the start of May he defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, pitching seven innings of work. Two more losses followed, until he a threw a eighth inning, one run complete game victory at Shea Stadium over the Cincinnati Reds.

 Smith's biggest problem was giving up HRs, he would serve up HRs in six straight games twice on the year. On May 22nd he allowed four HRs to the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium, in an 8-3 Met loss. Smith allowed two HRs in a game seven times on the year. From June to early August he won just one more game, going 1-5, when the baseball strike ended the season. 

Smith allowed the most HRs in the National League that season (25). He won just four games, going 4-10 with a 5.55 ERA making 21 starts with 62 strike outs & 42 walks in 131 innings pitched. The Mets did not resign him after the season & he moved on to pitch for the Cincinnati Reds going 1-2 in 1995. Smith then went to the San Diego Padres (1997) where he made 37 appearances going 7-6 with a 4.81 ERA. In 1998 he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles pitching as a middle reliever closing out his career. 

 In his 11 year career Smith was 47-71 with 640 strike outs 404 walks in 1025 innings pitched, allowing 16 HRs with a 4.55 ERA in 231 appearances.

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