Sep 5, 2016

2016 NL Champion Mets Reliever: Jerry Blevins (2015-2016)

Jerry Richard Blevins was born September 6th 1983 in Johnson City Tennessee. The tall six foot six left handed reliever attended the University of Dayton, pitching for their baseball team going 7-4 in 21 games for two seasons. Blevins was signed by the Chicago Cubs in 2004 in the 17th round.

After spending four seasons in the Cubs system he was traded along with catcher Rob Bowen to the Oakland Athletics for Jason Kendall in 2007. He made the 2007 A's bullpen as a September call up that year, debuting on September 16th against the Texas Rangers pitching a perfect 9th inning. The following year he was designated for assignment in May but then resigned. Overall Blevins would spend seven seasons with the Oakland A's as a middle to late inning reliever.

His best seasons came in 2012 when he was 5-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 63 appearances, finishing up 17 games & 2013 when he was 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA in 67 appearances, finishing up 14 games. That year his first win came in a 19 inning game against the L.A. Angels. In those two years he was 10-1 with 18 holds, 106 strike outs & just 43 walks in 125 innings.

Post Season: In the 2012 ALDS against the Detroit Tigers, he made three relief appearances, with no decisions finishing up the Game #1 loss. In Game #4 he pitched a scoreless 6th & the inning in the A's 4-3 victory.

At the end of Spring Training 2014 he was traded to the Washington Nationals for former Met, Matt den Dekker. That year he helped the NL Eastern Champion Nats pitching in 64 appearances going 2-3 with nine holds & a 4.87 ERA. He struck out 66 batters in 57 innings.

Post Season: He made three NLDS appearances against the San Francisco Giants, striking out two & allowing no runs in 3.1 innings.

In March of 2015 he was traded to the New York Mets for Matt den Dekker.

Blevins debuted on Opening Day with the Mets, getting former Nat team mate Bryce Harper to line out in the 9th inning. The Mets went on to a 3-1 victory in D.C. Blevins was quickly becoming Terry Collins left handed late inning reliever as he notched himself five holds in seven games not allowing an earned run. Left hand batters were 0-14 against him out of the Mets bullpen.

On April 16th he earned his only win, beating the Miami Marlins. He had given up a fielders choice that allowed an inherited run to score, but benefited from RBIs by Lucas Duda & Michael Cuddyer.

On April 9th he was hit by a comebacker & suffered a fracture of his left arm. He went on the DL & later slipped on a curb in Florida refracturing his arm again. He was out for the rest of the season as the Mets went on to the World Series.

Quotes: Jerry Blevins- “I was on the phone with my now-wife and slipped and caught myself. It wasn’t anything crazy. It just happened.  I caught myself, and I just felt a little bit of pain. I went back into the training room and it felt sore. And we iced it and it didn’t go away. So we went and checked it out -- X-ray style. It came back and there was a little crack. So we decided to go with the surgery.”

In December 2015 the Mets resigned him to a one year $4 million deal. Blevins returned to Mets Spring Training with high hopes in 2016.

Quotes: Jerry Blevins- "There’s always curiosity. Something is new. I’ve got metal latched to bone in my arm. So there was definitely a bit of apprehension. But there’s only one way to find out how it’s going to be. And that’s to start throwing. Knock on wood, it’s been great so far. I haven’t had any issues. It feels really good now.”

Blevins became a valuable asset to the Mets bullpen in 2016, seeing action mostly in the late innings as the left handed specialist. On April 13th he earned his first win a 2-1 Mets victory over the Miami Marlins. The rest of the month he recorded four holds to his credit.

By late June his ERA was a personal season low at 1.45, that month he earned his second win another 2-1 Mets win, this time at Milwaukee.

On July 4th, Yoenis Cespedes broke a 6-6 tie against the Miami Marlins in what turned out to be the winning runs. Blevins got the win & went to 3-0. He suffered two losses & a blown save as he closed out August. As of August 30th, Blevins had 60 appearances at 4-2 with 40 Ks & 12 walks in 36 innings of work with a 2.34 ERA. 

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