Sunday, July 28, 2013

Perhaps the Unluckiest Pitcher in MLB History

Among the records in baseball, there are several individual streaks.  Three of the most noted being Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak, Cal Ripken Jr.'s 2,632 consecutive games played and Orel Hersisher's 59 consecutive scoreless innings pitched.   These are much revered and deservedly so.  Today is the 20th anniversary of an ending of a different streak - a more dubious one.  Anthony Young of the Mets got the victory over the Florida Marlins on July 28, 1993, thus ending his personal 27 game losing streak.
1991 Upper Deck Final Edition

Young was in his second year in the big leagues when the streak began in 1992.  He started the season with a 2-0 record, receiving one victory as a starter and the other out of the bullpen.  Young then went on to lose his next 14 decisions that year.   The first six of which came as a starter and the other eight as a reliever when manager Jeff Torborg moved him there to replace the injured closer John Franco.  While in the bullpen, Young saved 15 games and at one point held the opponents scoreless for 23 2/3 consecutive innings.  He ended the season with a 4.17 ERA in 121 innings pitched.
The 1993 season began with Young in the New York bullpen.  Young was the losing pitcher five more times in 17 relief appearances.  He then, was placed back in the starting rotation and lost seven consecutive starts.  Young's 20th loss in row broke the team record previously held by Craig Anderson(1962-64) and the 24th, the MLB record that had been held since 1911 by Cliff Curtis.  Loss #27 came out of the bullpen in an extra inning game vs Los Angeles Dodgers.  Four days later, Young entered the ninth inning in a 3-3 game and gave up an unearned run.  But, the Mets scored two of their own and allowed Young to be the winning pitcher much to the relief of Young and his many fans who had been sending him good luck charms such as four leaf clovers and rabbit's feet. 
During the entire streak, Young was quite accommodating to the growing media attention and also made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno after the historic win.  Shortly after his win, Young was sent to the minors and was later called back up in September.  He lost three more game during the month and had an ERA of 3.77 in 100 innings pitched for the 1993 season.
The following March, Young was traded to the Chicago Cubs and pitched for them for two years plus one more with the Houston Astros in 1996.  Young's career stats include a win/loss record of 15-48 with an ERA of 3.89 in 460 innings and 20 saves.
In the baseball recordbooks, Anthony Young will be forever be labeled as a loser, but in reality, he is a winner.  Nowadays, Young is fine with the streak and realizes that in order to be in position to lose that many straight times, he had to be doing something right.  He currently coaches youth baseball and passes his knowledge and experiences onto the kids. 

No comments:

Post a Comment