Top 100 Mets: #100 - Anthony Young

The New York Mets have experienced lots of ups and just as many downs in their 42 years of existence, but no single player was so cursed as Texan Anthony Young in 1992-1993, when he sent baseball scholars scurrying to the record books with his each and every loss during those two seasons. For that reason, we have decided to begin our 100 GREATEST METS series with the tale of Anthony Young.

What was it exactly that landed Anthony Young one of the most infamous baseball records of all-time? Was it simply a lack of talent or was he simply overcome with back luck? After all, the man compiled a Mets career won loss mark of 5-35 which compares favourably (?) with the early Mets Roger Craig, Al Jackson, Jay Hook and Craig Anderson.

Yet statistics show the AY was probably more often or not pitching in the wrong game at the wrong time. He lost…and he lost …and he lost. In all, 27 consecutive times between May 1992 until July 1993, when the Mets, on July 28th, finally edged the Florida Marlins 5-4, and Young emerged a winner for the first time in some 16 months. Of course, he would not win a single game the rest of the season, and finished with an overall record of 1-16, making him an unbelievable 3-30 for '92 and '93 combined. The '62 Mets had nothing on old AY in that span of two seasons.

Of course,
D. Henson
Here's the thing, you have to be good to lose so many games. You have to be good enough for the manager to want to send you to the mound.
the irony in such situations is that you have to be good, in order to sink to this level of BADNESS. For Young, the streak officially began on May 6, 1992, with a 5-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Five days later he lost to the San Diego Padres 4-2, and he was off to the races.

He proceeded to finish the 1992 season with a record of 2 wins and 14 losses. Following his 11-6 victory over the Montreal Expos on April 19, 1992, Young would remain "imperfect" for the remainder of the season. Was he snake-bitten, or simply that bad? Examining the evidence and being as fair as possible, it would seem that AY had volunteered to sit in a den of vipers for some 16 months.

His 14 losses to complete the 1992 season were highlighted by 9 losses of 2-runs or less, and another 2 losses of 3 runs. So AY was indeed in close games, and held the opposition at bay, until the incompetent Mets cost him the game at some point. He lost three sets of back-to-back games in 1992: the Reds, Padres and Expos, each took him out for consecutive losses.

Aside from the fact that Young lost often, and seemingly without end, the streak was definitely not highlighted by runaway victories by the opposition. The most lopsided of the 27 losses came against the Chicago Cubs on June 25, 1992 and was 9-2. Never once did the opponent score in double figures during the streak. So AY did have his manager's confidence that he would probably lose (which he did, again and again), but would hold the other team close (which statistics prove).

The 1992 team slumped to a poor finish, but the 1993 team would prove to be one of the worst in club history, even though it was populated by stars Eddie Murray, Vince Coleman and Bobby Bonilla. Murray would even go on to drive in 100 runs, but the team actually had to win its final six games to finish with a mark of 59-103. It was the first time the Mets had lost 100 games since 1967, when Tom Seaver first came on the scene, and the 103 losses were the most since 1965, when Casey Stengel was still managing the team, at least until midseason.

The 1993 team was torn by dissention and malcontents. The big three of Murray , Coleman and Bonilla actually made the team worse with horrible attitudes. The lamb that became Eddie Murray as his recent HOF induction was a wolf in sheep's clothing during his Mets tenure. Coleman was suppose to steal bases and score runs, but was constantly hurt. But you couldn't wipe the smile off Bonilla's face…sardonic that it was.

But for Anthony Young the nightmare never seemed to end. He was actually promoted in 1992. Closer John Franco would miss most of the season with arm problems and Young was made the closer, and actually did a decent job, saving 15 games, including 12 straight at one point before falling back into his losing groove.

Anthony Young Pitching Statistics


Year

W-L

IP

H

BB

K

ERA

Saves

1991

2-5

49.1

48

12

20

3.10

0

1992

2-14

121

134

31

64

4.17

15

1993

1-16

100.1

103

42

62

3.77

3


**Stats were just while with Mets. - Led Mets in losses with 14 in 1992 and with 16 in 1993.

With the beginning of the 1993 season, Young began threatening records. The first record he challenged, and ultimately surpassed, was Roger Craig's team mark of 18 straight losses set in 1963, some thirty years previous. With his fifth loss of the season, against the Cincinnati Reds on May 28th, Young replaced Craig in Mets annals with this 19th consecutive loss. Manager Dallas Green once again made Young a starter, but his luck did not change.

With the Mets
D. Henson
Anthony Young: It's not easy to show one's face when your record is 1-16...but Young posted a very respectable 3.77 ERA in 1993.
mark for losing now his very own, Young was looking to set a record for the ages as his next "goal" was the all-time mark of 23 straight losses set by Cliff Curtis of the Boston Braves in 1910-11. And continue to lose he did.

With Dallas Green having put him back into the starting rotation, Young made five starts in the month of June, and proceeded to lose them all. The record breaker came on June 27, when he surpassed the mark of Curtis, and stood alone as the loser for most consecutive games of all-time. That loss came against the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-3.

But the losing didn't stop there. Even when the the streak finally ended on July 28th, Young almost lost again. He gave up the go ahead run against the Marlins and trailed 4-3, but the Mets finally bailed him out, scoring two runs off Florida closer Bryan Harvey for a 5-4 win, which was enough for a Young victory and team celebration.

Young would not win another game for New York. He finished the season with a fine ERA of 3.77, despite the horrific 1-16 mark and was sent to the Chicago Cubs for Jose Vizcaino at season's end.

Once again history shows that Young was more unlucky than anything else in 1993. Although the 1993 team was poor in general, Young essentially lost close games. Of his 13 straight losses to begin the season, four were by one run, four by two runs, three by three runs, and the other two by four runs. To make matters that much worse, two of his final three losses following the end of the streak, were also by one run.

The fact that Young endured such hardship during such a short period of time also endeared him to the New York fans, and we find it only fitting that Anthony Young should be designated as "GREATEST MET #100".

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