Innis effectively used his submarine repertoire of sliders and sinkers to be a dependable force out of the New York Mets bullpen for seven years. Despite pitching well in call-ups in 1987 and 1988, Innis was stuck behind a deep bullpen, including Roger McDowell, Randy Myers, and fellow sidearmed reliever Terry Leach.
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When Leach was traded to the Kansas City Royals in mid-1989, Innis got a full-time shot in the bigs. With his unique fast-healing "rubber" arm, he became the workhorse of the Mets' pen. In 1991 Innis became the first pitcher to appear in at least 60 games without recording a win or a save. Yet he broke that streak as early as April 6, 1992, when he recorded the win on the team's Opening Day. That season he appeared in a franchise-record 76 games. (This would later be broken in 1999 by both Armando Benitez and Turk Wendell.)
When Innis was not offered a contract by the Mets after the 1993 season, the Minnesota Twins signed him to a minor-league contract in February 1994. A month later he had the dubious honor of giving up Michael Jordan's first spring training hit, an infield single. He appeared in seven games with the Triple-A squad before retiring. (AG/JFO)
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»April 6, 1992:
Mets reliever Jeff Innis is credited with the win over the Cardinals in NY's 4–2 Opening Day victory. In 1991, Innis became the only pitcher in baseball history to appear in at least 60 games with neither a win nor a save.