Geremi Gonzalez: Former Mets Pitcher Who Was Killed by Lightning (2006)

 Geremis Segundo Gonzalez Acosta was born January 8th, 1975, in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Geremi was signed as a non-draft amateur free agent by the Chicago Cubs at age 16.

MLB Career: After five seasons in the minor leagues, he was brought up to the major leagues debuting on May 27th, 1997, getting a start against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. He pitched 5.1 innings allowing three runs but earned his first career victory.

He was placed in the Cubs rotation earning wins in seven of his first nine decisions. On June 23rd he tossed a four-hit shutout against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

In his Rookie year he was 11-9 with a 4.25 ERA coming in ninth in the Rookie of the Year voting.
After two seasons with the Cubs, he signed on with the Tampa Rays. 

In 2003 he went 6-11 with a 3.91 ERA but was better than his record showed. In 17 starts that season he allowed three runs or fewer without much run support. In fact, he received the lowest run support of any starter in the AL East.

Trivia: On June 3rd in a 3-2 loss at Wrigley Field, he was the pitcher on the mound when the Cubs' Sammy Sosa's bat exploded & proved to be corked.

The next year he couldn't get any wins going 0-5 with an ERA of 6.11. He was granted free agency & spent part of 2005 with the Boston Red Sox appearing in 28 games going 2-1with a 6.11 ERA. 

2005 Post Season- ALDS: Gonzalez made one appearance in the ALDS loss to the Chicago White Sox. 

In Game #1 he gave up a three run HR to Scott Podsednik in the 14-2 loss.

In 2006 he signed on with the New York Mets. 

Mets Career: Gonzalez began the year at AAA Norfolk, going 1-2 in six starts posting a 1-2 record at. 

On May 13th, he got his first Mets start coming at Milwaukee. He went five innings, allowing three runs, including HRs to Ricky Weeks & Prince Fielder earning no decision in the 9-8 Met win.

His next start was in the subway series, Friday night game at Shea Stadium. In that game he allowed six runs on six hits in three innings of work. 

But his opponent that night Randy Johnson also gave up six runs, serving up HRs to Carlos Beltran & Xavier Nady. It was in this game that David Wright hit a walk off single against Mariano Rivera scoring Paul Loduca.

In his final Mets start, he pitched three innings at Shea Stadium, earning no decision in the Mets 5-3 loss to the Phillies. In three games he had a 7.71 ERA with eight strike outs & six walks in 14 innings of work.

On May 26th, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Mike Adams, who never played a game for the Mets.

Post Mets Carer: Geremi went 4-2 in 21 gams with Milwaukee. He was anted free agency & signed on with Toronto. In 2007 he pitched just five games in their minor leagues with AAA Syracuse.

Nippon Professional Baseball: In May of 2007 he joined the Yomiuri Giants in Japan, becoming the fifth Venezuelan player to play there that season.

Career Stats: In his six-year career Geremi went 30-35 with a 4.93 ERA in 131 games, making 83 starts. He struck out 354 & walked 238 in 572 innings of work.

Trivia: Of the 583 pitchers that faced Barry Bonds six times or more, Geremi is the only pitcher Bonds did not reach base on.

Tragic Death: On May 25th, 2008, in Punta Palma, Zulia in Venezuela, Geremi Gonzalez was struck by lightning & killed at a local beach. He was just 33 years old. It was said that at the time of his death, he had personal items on him that were to be sold online.

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