Glendon Rusch: 2000 N.L. Champion Mets Pitcher (1999-2001)

Glendon James Rusch was born on November 7, 1974, in Seattle, Washington. The six foot two, left hander was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 17th round of the 1993 draft.

After his first two seasons pitching in pro ball, Rusch had a great season in 1995 at A ball Wilmington going 14-6 with 1.74 ERA. He then was pushed right up to AAA Omaha, the next year winning 11 games (11-9) posting a 3.98 ERA with 117 strike outs in 169 innings.

MLB Career: He was brought up to the Royals staff in 1997 & won his first start, pitching eight shutout innings in Milwaukee against the Brewers. He went on to win six games in each of his first two seasons but posted losing records. 

In 1998 he lost 15 games which were fourth most in the league. He spent most of 1999 at AAA Omaha going 4-7 with a 4.74 ERA. 

Traded: In mid-September of 1999 he was traded to the New York Mets for Dan Murray who had pitched just two innings allowing three runs that month as a Met.

Mets Career: Rusch made his Mets debut on September 17th, pitching one inning finishing off an 8-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies at Shea Stadium. 

2000 NL Pennant Season: Rusch eventually settled into the 2000 NL Champion Mets staff as starter in the lower part of the rotation. 

He debuted on April 15th, pitching eight innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates giving up just two runs. Unfortunately, he took the loss as the Mets were shut out 1-0 by Jimmy Anderson. 

On April 22md, he pitched seven innings against the Chicago Cubs, he gave up just two runs to earn his first win of the year. 

After a no decision where he allowed juts a run to the Reds into the 8th inning, Rusch struggled at the start of the May taking three straight losses. But he rebounded, then won five of six decisions through the month of June posting a 6-5 record an ERA just below four. On June 14th he even pitched in a relief effort, shutting out the Cubs at Wrigley Field to earn a win.

On July 2nd, he was shellacked by the Atlanta Braves, giving up a season high seven runs on 13 hits over five innings of work. His next start was a loss in the subway series regular season version in the Bronx. 

Trivia: On July 8th, he was the Mets pitcher opposing Roger Clemmens in the subway series the night Mike Piazza was hit in the head with a pitch. Rusch went into the 8th inning striking out ten batters but took the 4-2 loss.

On July 25th, he beat the Expos shutting them out for seven innings, to earn his first win in a month.  

In his next two starts he gave up four runs or more falling to an 8-10 record. On September 14th he got his record back to .500 & would help the Mets by going 3-1 from the end of August to the end of the season. 

His best outing came on September 24th, in his next to last start of the regular season, he pitched eight innings at Philadelphia allowing just one run while striking out seven Phillies. 

He finished the year at .500 going 11-11, tied with Bobby Jones & Rick Reed for third most wins on the staff. He struck out 157 batters in 190 innings pitched while posting a 4.01 ERA in 31 starts.

2000 Post Season- NLCS: Rusch didn’t get any starts in the post season but appeared in six games in relief.  He earned a win in Game #4 of the NLCS at Shea Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals. That night he pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Bobby Jones in the Mets 10-6 win. 

2000 World Series: He saw action in three games of the Subway World Series pitching four innings allowing one run on six hits, earning no decisions.

After the Pennant: In 2001 on his first start, he was knocked out of the game by the third inning getting no decision. On April 17th, he pitched seven shutout innings against the Montreal Expos, to get his first win. 

But found himself up & down again with no consistency over next two months. By July he was 4-5 with his ERA over five, adding to the Mets troubles as the defending NL Champs were sinking.

Combined One Hitter:
On July 14th, he pitched the game of his career, coming against the Boston Red Sox at Shea Stadium. It also came in front of a large crowd of 52,006 on a Saturday afternoon.

In the 1st inning, Trot Nixon bunted a reached first base safely on what the scorer ruled a single. It was a controversial call especially because it ended being the only hit of the game for the Red Sox. 

Rusch retired twelve in a row before a 5th inning walk & then he retired his next eleven batters, exiting after eight shutout innings. He struck out ten batters along the way.

Armando Benitez came on & completed the one hitter. It was the 22nd one hit game pitched in
Mets history, the previous was done by Bobby Jones in the 2000 NLDS clinching win over the Giants.

By mid-July he was 6-6 but then won just two more decisions in August & September. Rusch had his last good outing in early September, pitching a one run complete game victory over the Florida Marlins at Pro Player Stadium. 

Post 911: He pitched the third game after the return of baseball after the 911 attacks, earning no decision in the win, completing the Mets sweep of the Pirates in Pittsburgh. 

The 2-6 record in the final two months gave him an 8-12 season record, posting an ERA of 4.63.

That year he drove in five runs while batting .086 (3-54).

Traded: In the off season he was part of a big house cleaning three team trade involving the Mets, Milwaukee Brewers & Colorado Rockies. 

The Mets sent Rusch & Lenny Harris to the Milwaukee Brewers. They also sent Benny Agbayani &Todd Zeile to the Colorado Rockies. In return the Mets received Jeromy Burnitz, Jeff D'Amico, Ross Gload, Lou Collier, Craig House & Mark Sweeney in the deal.

Post Mets Career: Rusch would win ten games in Milwaukee, but also lead the NL in losses with 16. It was the last time he would put up double figures in victories. 

The next year was an absolute nightmare for Rusch, as he went 1-12 with an ERA over six, as the sixth place Brewers went 68-94 on the season. 

In 2004 he signed a three-year deal with the Chicago Cubs, where he would pitch as both a starter & reliever. The new scenery helped him turn it around, as he went 6-2  with a pair of saves posting a 3.47 ERA.

Health Drama: In 2006 he was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood clot in his lung. He had surgery & missed the entire 2007 season. 

He recovered well & was back on the mound in 2008 pitching with the San Diego Padres. After 12 games (going 1-2) he was traded to the Colorado Rockies where he ended his career.

Career Stats: In a 12-season career he posted a career 67-99 record, with 1088 strikeouts 460 walks in 1477 innings pitched in 342 appearances. 

Rusch pitched three shut outs with eleven complete games After the 2009 season he was pitching in the PBL league in California.

Retirement: In 2015 he became the A ball pitching coach for the San Diego Padres, affiliate the Lake Elsinore Storm.

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