b) Jesse Orosco
Little did Mets fans know when the Mets acquired him from the Twins for Jerry Koosman that eight years later, Orosco would be the winning pitcher in the game that sealed the team’s next pennant and save the contest that would clinch their next World Series Championship. Orosco won three post-season games as a Met, all in the 1986 National League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, with the biggest one coming in Game 6, in a 16-inning, 7-6 classic victory. In that year’s World Series, Orosco dominated the Boston Red Sox, saving two games while pitching 5.2 innings of shutout ball and striking out six. No other pitcher in Major League history has appeared in more games (1,252) than Orosco, whose career spanned 24 seasons.
c) Tom Seaver
“The Franchise” won three post-season games and certainly would’ve had more if not for the Mets’ anemic offense. Tom Terrific beat both the Braves and Orioles in post-season play in 1969 and in 1973 was the winning pitcher in the Mets’ Game 5 series-clincher over the Reds. In Game 1 of the Reds series, Seaver shutout the Big Red Machine for 7.1 innings, before eventually losing 2-1 on a Johnny Bench walk-off homer. In Game 3 of the 1973 World Series, Seaver allowed the A’s only two runs over eight innings and struck out 12, but the Mets’ offense produced its only two runs of the night in the bottom of the first inning and eventually lost, 3-2 in extra innings. In Game 6, in one of the most vilified decisions in Mets’ managerial history, with a 3-2 series lead, Yogi Berra trotted a flu-ridden Seaver, one day short of his normal rest, instead of saving him for a Game 7. Seaver soldiered on, allowing just two runs on six hits, but the Mets offense again was missing in action, scoring no runs for him, through seven innings. The Mets lost, 3-1.
The rubber-armed, resin-bag-on-the-mound-slamming, tooth-brushing-between-innings, animal-tooth-necklace-wearing, flaky No. 99 is arguably, still, the Mets best-ever setup reliever since bullpen roles became specialized in the ‘80s. Wendell’s philosophy, as he was quoted as saying was “to get our team back into the dugout as fast as possible.” With his wicked slider, he accomplished that many times. Wendell earned wins in the 1999 National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, that year’s National League Championship Series against Atlanta, then racked up another “W” against St. Louis in the 2000 National League Championship set. But the lingering post-season memory associated with Wendell is his allowing an extra-inning walk-off single to the Yankees’ Jose Vizcaino in Game 1 of the 2000 World Series which Mets fans to this day believe should’ve been a Mets win in regulation, if not for a blown save by then-closer Armando Benitez.