Back in the day we were constantly told how journeyman Tom Hutton did great against Tom Seaver. And Hutton did begin his career against Seaver off strong, going 9-22 against him in his first three years. But by the end of his career, things had turned the opposite way. In his last 11 trips to the plate against Seaver, Hutton was 0-10 with a sacrifice fly. Hutton’s lifetime numbers against Seaver are much better than his overall numbers. Yet, he doesn’t crack the top 50 in best lifetime OPS against Seaver among guys with at least 10 PA against the Hall of Fame pitcher.
So, let’s take a look at some best and worst performances against some of the all-time great Mets pitchers. We’ll break it down with a minimum of 10 then a minimum of 50 PA, with the best and worst against him at those levels. The worst will ignore how pitchers did against other pitchers.
Thon went 4-9 with 2 2B and 2 HR against Seaver. He also walked twice and did not strike out. Ripken had eight hits against Seaver, with five of those going for extra bases. Of course, Ripken was in his prime when he faced Seaver, while the pitcher was in his age 39-41 seasons in these head-to-head matchups. The trio without a hit against Seaver went a combined 0-41 with 7 Ks, all by Mulliniks. Murray was 3-25, with 1 BB and 11 Ks.
It’s kind of remarkable the success Monday had against Seaver. Not that Monday wasn’t a fine ballplayer but somehow he had 11 HR in 86 ABs against Seaver, which helped him to a .791 SLG mark. Monday’s success was even more impressive when you factor in that he struck out 29 times against Seaver. Meanwhile, McCovey did most of his damage in the 1968 and 1969 seasons. In those two years he was 9-18 with 2 3B and 3 HR. For the rest of his career, McCovey was 10-53 (.189) against Seaver. Maxvil was 4-46 with 20 Ks while Carter was glad to see Seaver go to the AL, as he was just 12-64 with one extra-base hit against his future Cooperstown teammate.
Roenicke went 10-18 with 7 XBH, including 3 HR. Robinson didn’t have a great AVG but made his hits count, as both times he got a hit they were solo homers. Koosman’s trio of hitters that he completely blanked had more star power than Seaver’s threesome. Nieto, Gamble and Coleman went a combined 0-38 with 6 Ks. And no one was happier when the White Sox acquired Koosman from the Twins than Fisk, who was 1-14 with an HBP in his career against his future batterymate.
Koosman was happy to go to the AL, where he would no longer have to face Winfield, who went 21-49 (.429) against him as a Padre. After a two-year break, they were in the same league again after Winfield signed with the Yankees as a free agent. While Winfield did not enjoy the same success against Koosman as he did earlier, two of his four hits as a Yankee went for home runs. Meanwhile, McRae was 0-8 against Koosman as a member of the Reds. He got a hit the first time he faced Koosman as a Royal but he still ended up 6-54 (.111) lifetime against his nemesis. Brock started his career 0-9 with 5 Ks against Koosman. It didn’t get much better, as the lefty-hitting Brock finished up 15-91 (.165) against the lefty Koosman.
Lezcano only faced Matlack in two seasons – 1978 and 1980. Matlack should be glad he missed him in ’79, as Lezcano went 4-8 with 3 XBH in his career. Matlack was on his last legs when he faced Ripken, who went 3-8 with 2 BB against him. Matlack’s trio of hitless wonders went 0-38 with 11 Ks. Driessen’s totals are even more hurtful, as he went 0-3 with a K in the ‘73 NLCS. With the platoon advantage against McCovey, Matlack held him to a single and a walk in 14 trips to the plate.
Bailey went 14-44 with 8 BB against Matlack, with 6 XBH. It’s too bad when the Mets were trying desperately to get a 3B that they didn’t get Bailey – he and Wayne Garrett would have made a terrific platoon. It’s with great satisfaction to say Simmons name as a Hall of Famer – almost as much as Simmons himself had when he saw Matlack on the hill. He went 20-53 (.377) against Matlack, including a .396 AVG as a member of the Cardinals. Against teams in which he had at least 300 PA in his career, Davis did his best work against the Mets. But Matlack was the exception, as he couldn’t buy a hit against him, reaching base just eight times in 52 trips to the plate. Bench was 4-10 against Matlack in ’73, one of the two good years he had against him. But in the NLCS, he was 0-4 with a K. Lifetime, Bench was 11-55 with 2 XBH – both doubles – against Matlack.