Jeff Innis: Former Mets Side-Armed Relief Pitcher (1988 - 1993)

Jeffery Davd Innis was born on July 5th, 1962 in Decatur, Illinois. While attending the University of Illinois, he was drafted in the 13th round of the 1983 draft by the New York Mets. 

The six foot one, right hander Innis was a submarine style pitcher that threw two different type curve balls. Innis was groomed as a reliever in the minor leagues, saving 25 games at AA Jackson in 1986, as the big league club was winning the World Series.

Mets Career: In May of 1987 Innis was brought up to an injury ridden Mets pitching staff. In his first outing, he took a loss to the Giants at Shea Stadium after allowing a run in the top of the 10th inning. He made 16 appearances posting a 3.16 ERA & was back at AAA Tidewater in August. There he was 6-1 with a 2.03 ERA with 28 strike outs in 44 innings.

1988 Mets NL Eastern Champion Season: After a good Spring Training, Innis began the season with the club. On April 24th he allowed three runs in middle relief, taking a loss to the Cardinals in St. Louis. On June 4th, he earned his first career victory, beating the Chicago Cubs in two innings of late relief. 

A week later, he was sent back down to AAA Tidewater although he had a 1.89 ERA after 19 innings pitched in 12 games with the Mets. At AAA he struggled going 0-5 the rest of the year.

Innings Eater: The lifetime middle reliever would spend seven seasons with the Mets & was known for racking up innings. He would lead the club in appearances for three years straight from 1991 through 1993, appearing in 212 games in that period.

MLB Record: In 1991 after going 0-2, he went into the record books by setting a strange MLB record. Innis appeared in over 60 games of relief, without earning a win or a save.

On Opening Day 1992, he earned the win in relief of David Cone at St. Louis when Bobby Bonilla hit a 10th inning game winning HR. 

Mets Record: That season Innis set a club record making 76 appearances (later broken by Turk Wendell) which was fifth most in the league. 

By mid-May he was 4-1 & had lowered his ERA to 2.11 by later that month. It would be two months until he notched another victory, while losing six of his next seven decisions. 

On the season he was 6-9 with a save & 16 holds to his credit posting a solid 2.86 ERA. He struck out 39 but walked 36 in 88 innings of work.

1993: Innis returned to make 67 appearances, going 2-3 with three saves & a 4.11 ERA. 

He was granted free agency & signed with the Twins for 1994. Innis never pitched for the Twins big league staff & retired after two seasons in the minor leagues.

Career Stats: In a seven-year career, Innis was 10-20 with five saves. He struck out 192 batters, walking 121 in 360 innings pitched while posting a 3.05 ERA in 288 appearances. 

Trivia: Innis is twelfth all time on the Mets all-time list in appearances. At the plate he was 0-9.

Family: Jeff married cross country, indoor track runner Kelly McNee in 1992. In the July 1993 issue of Runners Magazine Kelly was featured on the front cover. Together the couple had two children. They divorced in 2005. 

Passing: In January 2022, Innis passed away after a battle with cancer, he was 59 years old.


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