Saturday, April 23, 2011
#762) BRIAN LAWRENCE
Brian Lawrence joined the New York Mets when he signed a free agent contract on May 9, 2007. The right-hander had missed the previous season due to shoulder surgery and was in spring training camp attempting to make the Colorado Rockies rotation. When that did not occur the veteran had asked for his release.
Lawrence was assigned to Triple-A New Orleans where he produced a 8-2 record and 3.87 ERA in 12 starts for the Zephyrs. When Mets' pitcher, Jorge Sosa was moved to the bullpen it was Brian's opportunity to enter the New York rotation. "We signed him for this kind of situation," Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said. "He's a guy with Major League experience. He's earned this." Lawrence made his Mets debut on August 2, 2007. He was the starting pitcher during a 12-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. He went five innings to receive his first major-league win since 2005. "It felt good to put on a uniform and compete again," offered Brian after the game.
Brian's next start came on August 10th facing the Florida Marlins at Shea Stadium. After allowing only two runs in six innings of work, he appeared in line for his second win. Usually dependable Mets closer Billy Wagner ruined that when he allowed two runs in the ninth of what became a 4-3 loss.
Lawrence struggled in his next three starts, and found himself being optioned back to New Orleans following Endy Chavez's return from the disabled list on August 27th. Manager Willie Randolph stated that Brian could return when rosters expanded in September. "I didn't pitch great so that doesn't help things," Lawrence said.
Filling in for an injured Orlando Hernandez, he was given one last start on September 17th. Brian surrendered four runs to the Washington Nationals in 3-1/3 innings of work. The slumping Mets would fall by a score of 12-4, and Lawrence was designated for assignment the next day. A reeling New York club needed his roster spot for left-handed relief pitcher, Dave Williams.
Brian ended with a 1-2 record in six starts, and a 6.83 ERA. He would sign as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals on February 1, 2008.
I created Brian Lawrence's card in the set from an autographed index card given to me by my friend, Jessie on April 20, 2011.