100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 97 – Jose Mesa

Jose Mesa
Relief pitcher
2001-2003, 2007

Career w/Phillies: 242 IP / 13-18 / 4.05 ERA / 188 K / 112 SV

Mesa, believe it or not, is the all-time franchise leader in saves. Joe Table had two fantastic years in 2001 and ’02, with 42 and 45 saves, respectively. In that 2001, Mesa walked only 20 hitters in his 69.1 innings, staking out to a 2.34 ERA — his second-best total, besides his remarkable 1995 season for Cleveland. Known for his colorful gloves, his unknown age and possibly ridiculous sexual exploits, Mesa was always one of baseball’s more eccentric figures. At that point, that was all you could expect from him. Mesa returned to the Phillies in 2007, and was relegated to mop-up-type work.

Comment: Wash that 2007 out of your mouth — Mesa was one of the best Phillie closers, and his numbers show that. He ranks very closely with Bottalico — while Ricky had the better numbers, Mesa was flashier. They go hand in hand.

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