For the first time since being dealt away at the 2004 trade deadline, left-hander Scott Kazmir faced the Mets on Friday night. He struck out 12 in six scoreless innings against the team that originally drafted him.
Kazmir, 29, was one off his career-high of 13 strikeouts set back in 2007 with the (Devil) Rays. It was his second double-digit strikeout game of the season and 19th of his career. Kazmir threw 97 pitches and walked zero in Friday night.
The Mets traded the southpaw to Tampa Bay for Victor Zambrano in an effort to bolster their rotation for the stretch drive. Zambrano went 10-14 with a 4.43 ERA in two and a half injury-plagued years in New York. Kazmir went 55-44 with a 3.92 ERA and two All-Star Game appearances in parts of six seasons with the Rays.
In 24 starts this year, Kazmir has a 4.36 ERA and 2.77 K/BB ratio in 130 innings for the Indians this year. He missed most of the last two seasons with injury problems.
The Mets selected Kazmir with the 15th overall pick in the 2002 draft. Baseball America ranked him as one of the 12 best prospects in baseball each year from 2003-05.