Ever wonder which Mets pitcher has had the most balks called on him? Who has the most balks in a single Mets season or in Mets franchise history?
A balk is any motion made by the pitcher that might deceive a base runner. Most involve the pitcher pretending to pitch when he has no intention of doing so. The pitcher may flinch while on the rubber, or make a deceptive pickoff attempt, or even just drop the ball once he becomes set.
Most Balks in a Mets Season
David Cone has the most balks in a Mets season. Cone had 10 balks called on him in 1988. Sid Fernandez was just one behind him that same season with 9 balks. Cone finished 20-3 with a 2.22 ERA in 231.1 innings that year. He finished third in the Cy Young voting.
Notice how many of the single-season balk records are from 1988. That was the year that MLB changed the balk rule. They replaced the part about the pitcher coming to a “complete stop” with “single complete and discernible stop, with both feet on the ground.”
The results of the rule change were a joke. By just the 6th week of the 1988 season, MLB pitchers had set a new record for most balks in a season. Dave Stewart set a new individual record for balks in a season on May 18th.
Related: The Matt Harvey bloody nose game.
Most Balks in Mets History
|Mets Pitcher||Career Balks|
Dwight Gooden has the most balks in New York Mets franchise history. Gooden had 32 balks in his 11 years with the Mets. Surprisingly, he had only 1 balk in the 5 years he spent with other teams.
Gooden’s biggest and maybe his only weakness was holding runners on base. So teams, especially the rival St. Louis Cardinals, were always running whenever they got on base. Doc also played during the tenure of Umpire Bob Davidson. He was nicknamed “Balkin’ Bob” and “Balk-a-Day Bob” for his tendency to liberally invoke baseball’s balk rule.