Jo Jo Reyes Streak Reminiscent of Anthony Young

Last night, Jo Jo Reyes finally got a win for the Toronto Blue Jays. He had previously gone 28 starts over the past three injury riddled seasons without registering a victory. Although that is a great hurdle to overcome and hopefully leads to more victories for the lefty, his streak is not quite as notorious as that of Anthony Young back in the early 1990s.

The early 90s sparked the first wave of Mets futility after their impressive late 80s finishes. In 1992, they still had the impressive pitching names (Gooden, Fernandez, Cone, Saberhagen). By this point, Doc's off field troubles were affecting his pitching, Fernandez was having his modest type season, and Saberhagen hadn't yet cured his own Brett Saberhagen disease. Side bar: Brett Saberhagen disease is characterized by having alternating good and bad seasons. For Saberhagen, until 1994, he pitched great in odd years and awful in even numbered years. Cone was having a good year, but suffered and lost potential wins due to the dreadful offense.

The offense was anchored by a 36 year old Eddie Murray. After him you had past their prime guys (Coleman, Randolph, Bass) or busts (Magadan, Boston, Bonilla). Injuries kept HoJo out, and players like Chico Walker and Bill Pecota saw over 100 games of action each.

In the middle of all this was Anthony Young, a promising young pitcher in the organization. He had been called up in August of 1991 with mixed results. As I recall, he was brought in as a fill-in starter and utility pitcher. 1992 started out promising as he won his first three decisions. After that, it got a little murky as Young would go on to lose a Major League record 27 straight decisions. Not starts mind you, decisions! During that span, he was moved to the bullpen as a closer after John Franco missed some time. He did okay, even notching 11 save opportunities in a row at one point. Sure enough, when he did blow save chances, he blew them sky high taking the loss each time as well.

In 1993, they kept him in the bullpen for April and May, though not exclusively in the closer's role as Franco was back. In June, they attempted to stretch him out to be a starter again. The futility continued. He took a no decision in the first start back, and then proceeded to lose 7 consecutive starts/decisions. So, back to the pen he went when finally, on July 28, Young notched his first win to break the streak thanks to Eddie Murray. Young was brought into the game in the top of the 9th with the Mets already losing. In the bottom of the inning, Murray got the game winning walk off hit.

Anthony Young bounced around for a few more seasons, and amazingly had a career ERA of only 3.89, suggesting he was somewhat of a hard luck pitcher. I felt bad for Young during the streak because each start was like more gasoline on the fire. He just couldn't catch a break. Plenty of guys have lost more games in a season than he ever did, but they at least peppered in some wins too. Whenever I see a bad streak like the one Jo Jo Reyes just snapped, I always think it could be worse, just ask Anthony Young.

2 comments:

  1. Last year, we had the year of the pitcher. This year, the headlines and stats are still somewhat pitching dominated but some of the biggest stories are ugly pitching stories. Of the 24 pitchers that received Cy votes in 2010, there are only three or four names that you could even consider in the running for the award at this point. Guys like Arroyo, Jimenez and Myers have drastically underperformed while a host of other top of the rotation pitchers have spent considerable time on the DL (Greinke, Oswalt, Johnson, Liriano, Wainwright, Soriano, Nathan, Garza).

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  2. It was 27 straight decisions that he lost. However, he also had 27 straight starts without a win as well. He spent time in the bullpen in the middle. Of the 27 starts without a win, he had 13 quality starts. So he suffered from poor run production as well. It's not just that he was a terrible pitcher.

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