Top individual Phillies seasons ages 35 and over
Closer: Jose Mesa (2002, age 36)
Mesa had an up and down journey over 19 seasons in the major leagues. He pitched for the Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants, Detroit Tigers and had two runs with the Phillies.
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Mesa began his career as a 21-year old starter and struggled in that role through 1993 become moving to the bullpen. In Mesa’s first season as closer in 1995, he was nearly impossible to hit. He pitched to a 1.13 ERA, compiling a 3-0 record with a league high 46 saves. In 64 innings, he allowed only 49 hits and three home runs, while striking out 58.
Mesa shined again the following season with 39 saves, making his second of two straight All-Star appearances. He struck out 64 batters and walked 28 in 72.1 innings.
Mesa joined the Phillies after some up and down times with the Giants and Mariners.
During his first year with the Phillies in 2001, Mesa 42 with a 2.34 ERA. He followed it up in 2002 saving 45 with a 2.97 ERA, striking out 64 and allowing 65 hits in 75 2/3 innings.
After a horrendous 2003 season in which Mesa’s ERA ballooned to 6.52, he pitched solidly for the Pirates in 2004 and 2005 and the Rockies in 2006, the Tigers in 2007 before finishing his career back with the Phillies.
Mesa retired with 321 saves, but a mediocre 80-109 record with a 4.36 ERA. His time in Philadelphia was mainly successful, ranked second in franchise history with 112 saves.