Sterling Awards: Jason Scobie

Jason Scobie earned the Mets' Sterling Award as the top player this season at Triple-A Norfolk, where he tied a franchise record with 15 victories and anchored a pitching rotation that carried the Tides to an International League South title.

The 27-year-old right-hander was selected as an International League All-Star and had hoped for a birthday present to mark his big day on Sept. 1 – a call-up to New York – but Norfolk's playoff berth and the Mets' glut of pitching pretty much put Scobie's plans on hold.

Scobie notched the 15th win of his minor league season on Sept. 4, shutting out Richmond for five innings in his only relief appearance.

The victory tied Jim Bibby (1971) and Mike Fhyrie (1996) for most wins by a Norfolk pitcher, and could be a major plus in the corner of the journeyman minor leaguer, still searching for that first big league call and a question mark to remain in the organization for 2006.

"People will look at the fact that he won 15 and they will take notice," Tides pitching coach Dan Warthen told the Virginian-Pilot.

"They will see that he led the International League in wins. They will see that he has four borderline major league pitches that he throws, then they will factor in that he's a battler who wins. If not the New York Mets, there's 29 other teams that might take him to spring training with them."

Season Recap

APRIL: Scobie gets off to a rolling 4-0 start, posting a 1.57 ERA in starts against Rochester, Indianapolis, Louisville and Charlotte. His eight strikeouts on April 22 vs. Louisville are a season-high, tied once later in the year, and opposing batters hit just .158 against him.

MAY: After a no-decision in his first start of the month, allowing five runs to Durham, Scobie fires back with five innings of one-run ball to defeat Charlotte on May 8, improving to 5-0. He'll suffer three losses and a no-decision before his next victory, despite allowing only two runs in defeats to Indianapolis and Ottawa, and a no-decision vs. Pawtucket, and finishes the month 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in five starts.

JUNE: Scobie is back to his winning ways on June 7 with six innings of two-run ball vs. Durham, starting a string of three wins in a row against Charlotte and Scranton Wilkes-Barre. A five-run blip surfaces on June 23 at Buffalo, but Scobie bounces back in his next start to twirl seven innings of two-run ball at Toledo, striking out seven to finish the month 4-2 with a 4.14 ERA.

JULY: Scobie pretty much forgets what losing is like, because he doesn't do any of it in July (except for in the International League All-Star game, in which he starts and only lasts one inning). Five starts bring the righty four wins and a no-decision, and the one non-victory happens to be a quality start: seven innings, two runs and six strikeouts on July 8 at home against Columbus. Scobie posts wins over Syracuse twice in a two-week span, then finishes the month by defeating Richmond and Toledo, going at least six innings in his last four starts of the month. Overall, Scobie goes 4-0 with a 2.78 ERA in July and improves to 13-4 heading into August.

AUGUST: Scobie bids farewell to July with a pounding at Durham, who rock the righty for 11 runs (seven earned) and six hits in 5-2/3 innings. It's an unsettling beginning to an unimpressive month for Scobie, who goes 1-3 with a 4.10 ERA in six starts. His one win is a keeper: on Aug. 7, Scobie equals his season-high by firing eight innings at Louisville, striking out eight while allowing two runs and six hits.

SEPTEMBER: Scobie makes his lone relief appearance of the year on Sept. 4 vs. Richmond, picking up win No. 15 in relief with five innings of shutout ball against the Braves. He finishes the year having pitched much better at Norfolk's Harbor Park (9-3, 2.54 ERA in 106.1 IP) than on the road (6-4, 4.75 ERA in 60.2 IP).

Splits and minutia: Best month, April (4-0, 1.57 ERA)… slightly better vs. lefties (.258, 3.24 ERA) than righties (.262, 3.42 ERA)… lethal against leadoff hitters (28-for-161, 0.64 ERA)… was hit hard with runners in scoring position (7.97 ERA) and the bases loaded (19.29 ERA)… toughest inning happened to be the fourth, when he held hitters to a .222 average (22-for-99)… waited until Sept. 4 to notch his first hit of the season. But he saved them, going 2-for-2 in that game vs. Richmond; he was 0-for-13 previously.

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