Jason Isringhausen saved the Mets victory over the Padres last night. It was save number 300 for his career. No, it’s not quite as impressive as Jim Thome hitting his 600th homer, but a round number is a round number, right?
Like so many top closers, Isringhausen began his major league life as a starter. That didn’t work out for him, of course, and he was converted into a full time closer just as the Mets gave up on him and shipped him to Oakland in the middle of the 1999 season. From there he had a nice nine-season run, closing games for the A’s and, most significantly, the Cardinals. At times he was dominant, but only at times. He racked up a lot of saves with some good Cardinals teams.
The past few years have been rough for Isringhausen. Arm troubles, including his third Tommy John surgery looked to have ended his career. He missed most of 2009 and never made the majors in 2010 as he tried to come back. This season he has been a shadow of his former self for the Mets, though a friendly and welcome shadow, closing out his career where it began and, apparently anyway, hanging around to see the save odometer flip to 300.
And I have no problem with that. The Mets aren’t contending and he’s not crowding out any young stud. If the Mets are simply giving him a chance to hit a milestone, well, in this case good for the Mets. It’s important to Isringhausen and there is enough good will out there for him that it’s important to a non-trivial number of fans. Good for him. And for them.