Scott Strickland: Early 2000's Mets Reliever (2002-2003)
After a brief two year period in the minors, Strickland made his debut with the Expos, in 1999 going 0-1 in 17 games. In 2000, the Expos only won 67 games and Steve Kline was their main closer with 14 saves. Strickland would eventually take over that closer role, posting a 3.00 ERA and finishing up 4-3 with nine saves. The next year he lost that job to Uqueth Urbina, but he still saved nine games with a 3.21 ERA but posted a 2-6 record.
During the first week of the 2002 season he was traded to the New York Mets for pitcher Bruce Chen.
At the time it was believed Scott could help a weak Mets bullpen and possibly even be their future closer. He’ll always be remembered for wearing that thick silver chair around his neck, while on the mound.
He made his Mets debut on April 6th pitching the 7th inning in Atlanta in a 11-2 walloping of the Braves. The next night he blew a save opportunity, serving up an 8th inning RBi single to Mark Derosa. The Braves won the game in the 14th inning on a walk off HR by Marcus Giles off Mets pitcher Satoru Komiyama.
But in his first month, he would not allow another run & finished April with an 0.87 ERA & five holds. In the last week of May, he benefited with three Mets late comebacks to earn victories each time, getting his record to a best 5-2.
As the season went on, he would win just one more game & take losses seven more times. In the set up role he would not earn another hold in the final two months.
He finished at 6-9 with two saves & 15 holds posting a 3.59 ERA in 68 appearances. Strickland did strike out 69 batters in 69 innings pitched. In 2003 he started out 0-2 but had a good 2.25 ERA before injuries led him to Tommy John surgery ruining his career. The Mets eventually released him.
After rehab & hard work, he returned two years later, to pitch four innings with the 2005 Houston Astros. Strickland never made it back to the big leagues, he would in the minors for the Pirates (2007) Padres (2008) Dodgers (2008) & Marlins (2009).
Trivia: In 2009 with AAA Albuquerque, he became the teams all time saves leader.
In a six year MLB career Strickland was 12-21 with 20 saves. He posted a 3.34 ERA, struck out 243 batters & walked 112 in 242 innings, in 239 appearances.