Former New York Mets’ top pitching prospect Scott Kazmir returns to Queens nearly 10 years after being dealt in one of the worst trades in team history. With Kazmir having the best season of his career, extra salt will be added to the wound.
On July 30, 2004, the Mets traded Kazmir in an ill-advised move to make a run at the National League East crown. Nearly 10 years and two general managers later, the trade still haunts the team. Kazmir is on his way to his third All-Star Game as he comes to Citi Field with a .95 WHIP and an American League best 2.08 ERA (second best in majors). However, just three years ago it appeared as if the trade would finally stop haunting the Mets as the Los Angles Angels of Anaheim released the struggling Kazmir, who would be out of the majors for the entire 2012 season. Unfortunately the Mets have too strong a history of misery and devastation to let that happen. As fate would have it, Kazmir worked his way back to the majors just in time to have a career year as he makes his first start in Queens a little over a month before the 10th anniversary of his departure.
The Mets are coming home for a two-game homestand after a successful 4-3 road trip in which they put up 11 runs in the finale. However, the Mets have trouble building on momentum. Earlier this month the team took four out of five from the Philadelphia Phillies and then went on to get swept by the then-worst team in the majors, the Chicago Cubs. The Mets had an uncharacteristic 11-run offensive explosion on Sunday. Obviously the Mets won’t be able to duplicate that type of production against arguably the best starter in the majors right now.
On Sept. 6 of last year, Kazmir pitched a 12-strikeout gem against the Mets in Cleveland while with the Cleveland Indians. Tonight when he makes his first career start in Queens, the odds of him throwing a no-hitter are less than likely. But then again, stranger misfortunes have happened to this team.