Who has the Most Balks by a Mets Pitcher?

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

Mets PitcherYearBalks
David Cone198810
Sid Fernandez19889
Dwight Gooden
Jerry Koosman
Bob Ojeda
Roger Craig
Mike Pelfrey
Dwight Gooden
Dwight Gooden
Don Rowe

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.

David  Cone pitching

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 PitcherCareer Balks
Dwight Gooden32
David Cone23
Ron Darling21
Jerry Koosman20
Sid Fernandez18
Bob Ojeda13
Craig Swan12
Rick Aquilera
Mike Pelfrey

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.

Dwight  Gooden pitching

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.

Related: Who has the most strikeouts for the Mets?