- Who the hell is Jeff D’Amico?
- Why are you making me think about Jeff D’Amico?
- How is Jeff D’Amico #22 on the Top 79 Cub Killers of My Time?
The answers, my friend, like all good things, will come in time.
Jeff D’Amico’s Major League career was short-lived, a mere eight seasons, 131 starts, and 45 wins. That career began way back in 1993, when the Milwaukee Brewers drafted him with the 23rd overall pick of the draft. The righty pitched his way to a 13-3 record with a 2.39 ERA in Class A Beloit. D’Amico whiffed 119 hitters and walked only 31.
D’Amico’s performance led the Brewers to call him up in 1996. D’Amico debuted on June 28, 1996, at the age of 20. D’Amico pitched well, giving up no runs and only two hits in 5 2/3 innings pitched as the Brewers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1. In a seriously shitty year for the American League, D’Amico finished seventh in the AL Rookie of the Year voting behind such household names as Rocky Coppinger, Jose Rosado, and Tim Crabtree.
D’Amico’s debut against the Cubs occurred the following season. On June 13, 1997, Phil Garner’s Brewers came to Wrigley Field to take on Terry Mulholland and the rest of Jim Riggleman’s Cubs. D’Amico threw eight innings of two-run baseball, striking out five and walking one. He threw only 112 pitches, 76 for strikes. Doug Jones pitched a perfect 9th inning to nail down the Brewers’ 4-2 win.
D’Amico pitched for five years in Milwaukee before he was involved in one of the most insane trades of B126ers in history! The Brewers traded D’Amico along with Jeromy Burnitz, Lou Collier, and Mark Sweeney to the New York Mets. The Mets sent Lenny Harris and Glendon Rusch back to the Brewers. The Mets sent Benny Agbayani and Todd Zeile to the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies sent Ross Gload and Craig House to the Mets. And, finally, the Rockies sent Alex Ochoa to the Brewers. It’s lose, lose, lose!
After just a year with the Mets, D’Amico was granted his free agency. He signed one-year contracts with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians in 2003 and 2004, respectively. He was released by the Indians on June 30, 2004, and presumably retired. Though I’m sure he’s still available if you want to throw some cash his way, Theo!
Throughout the course of his career, D’Amico went 45-52 with a 4.61 ERA and a 1.343 WHIP. That’s about as pedestrian as pedestrian can get. STILL available, methinks, Theo.
Slightly more impressive were D’Amico’s seven starts against the Cubs, in which he went 6-1 with a 2.13 ERA and a 0.789 WHIP. In 50 2/3 innings pitched against the Cubs, D’Amico allowed only two home runs and 12 earned runs. In D’Amico’s last three starts against the Cubs (all with the Pirates), he struck out ten batters without walking a single one.
I’m just saying, he was riding a hot streak at the end, there, Theo! Or maybe I should be pitching this idea to John Mozeliak.
Why You Should Hate Him: July 1, 2000. Don Baylor sent Old Blisters Ismael Valdez to the mound up in County Stadium. Valdez pitched shockingly well, surrendering a lone earned run in seven innings pitched. Then, Ruben Quevedo gave up two earned runs in zero innings pitched. And then Felix Heredia gave up one earned run in one inning pitched. None of that really mattered, though, as D’Amico was busy spinning a two-hit shutout through his eight innings pitched. It took D’Amico only 89 pitches to get through 28 Cub hitters. Curt Leskanic pitched the ninth in the 4-0 Brewers’ win.
Did You Know? At one point–specifically the year 2000–there were TWO Jeff D’Amicos in the MLB. There’s the one who murdered the Cubs, and there was the one who pitched in seven games with the Kansas City Royals. This is sort of like that movie The Talented Mr. Ripley, except that neither one of the Jeffs was talented.