Jason Isringhausen's Journey To 300 Saves
It all started for Jason Isringhausen in 1995, when his career began for the New York Mets.
He was ranked the 37th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America before the 1995 season. Yet he was drafted in the 44th round in the MLB amateur draft in 1991.
He had a decent season in 1995, but everything went down hill from there and in 1997, Isringhausen was sent to the minors (Norfolk Tides AAA team) after posting an earned run average higher then 7.
After spending all of 1998 in the minor leagues, the Oakland Athletics took a chance with "Izzy" in 1999 and used him as their closer as he saved 8 games.
He quickly became the A's top closer, helping the Athletics to make the playoffs in 2000 and 2001. But then his contract was up, and the Athletics didn't resign Isringhausen. The Cardinals however, did.
The Cardinals picked him up right away to be their closer, and he didn't disappoint. He continued to rack up his save total, and after the 2009 season, the Cardinals chose not to re-sign their old reliever/closer.
Just 7 saves away, Isringhausen, for the 2010 season went to the Rays. He appeared in 9 games, with 0 saves, and 1 blown save.
Isringhausen knew this year was his last chance at making history, and he chose the Mets to try to get his 300th save.
He started off the season in the minor leagues, losing to Blaine Boyer for the last relief spot.
That didn't last long, because the Mets weren't impressed with the way Boyer was pitching. They dropped Boyer and gave Isringhausen an MLB roster spot.
Though relief pitcher Pedro Beato started the season off very well, Bobby Parnell looked really bad. Parnell was supposed to be the set-up man for Francisco Rodriguez. But quickly, on April 20th, Parnell went to the disabled list for numbness in his right middle finger.
Who was going to be their set-up man? The one and only Jason Isringhausen.
But as a set-up man you record "holds" not "saves". Jason was still 7 saves away from his milestone.
Then the Francisco Rodriguez trade talks kicked in. Rodriguez was going to bring in a lot of money due to his vesting option for the 2012 season. Alderson wanted none of him, and got rid of "K-Rod" for 2 prospects to be named later. And Isringhausen got his chance.
This morning, at around 1:50 a.m., in the bottom half of the 10th inning against the Padres, Jason Isringhausen got his 300th save of his career, his 7th of the season.
And those moments are why us Mets fans continue to watch our favorite team play, even when they are on the west coast, in extra innings.
It was a great moment for the Mets and even better moment for Isringhausen, who said that getting his 300th save was the reason why he came back.
"It is special. It's the reason I came back was to get 300, and now I got it," Isringhausen told the New York Post. "Now it's time to move on and hopefully get a few more saves before the end of the year."
After the game the Mets popped champagne in the club house to celebrate Izzy's 300th save.
His milestone was the 2nd milestone achieved last night as former Phillie Jim Thome hit his 600th home run in his career.
What a night for baseball, and congrats to Thome and Isringhausen on their accomplishments!