As a starting pitcher for the New York Mets during their dominate and thrilling championship season of 1986, Ron Darling was part of a strong pitching staff that included three 15-game winners with ERAs under 3.00, including Cy Young winner Doc Gooden. Even that group of talented pitchers pale in comparison to the young and powerful staff at the forefront of the Mets organization today.
“They have as good of a young pitching staff that I’ve ever seen in the history of the game,” says Darling of a rotation that includes Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler. “All power guys, all 95+ guys, all young; seems like they have the world ahead of them.”
Darling attributes part of their success to more than just power and talent, saying, “These guys are a different specimen… all of these guys look like if you put into a computer the data you needed to spit out the perfect human being that could pitch in a baseball game, it would spit out these guys. They are just are bigger, stronger, better looking, better hair.”
The Mets come into opening day at Citi Field tonight against the Philadelphia Phillies after splitting a two-game series in a rematch of the 2015 World Series verse the Kansas City Royals. Jacob deGrom gets the start for the Mets against Jerad Eickhoff at 1:10PM. Of course, that depends of the status of deGrom’s wife, who could go into labor at any moment.
Darling has a new book available: Game 7, 1986: Failure & Triumph in The Biggest Game of My Life. Listen to Scott Shannon’s full interview with the former Mets pitcher below.
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