Jul 22, 2015

2006 N.L. Eastern Champion Mets Pitcher Who Once Was Chased Off the Mound By Mike Piazza: Guillermo Mota (2006-2007)

Guillermo Reynoso Mota was born on July 25, 1973, in the Dominican Republic. The six foot six right hander, was originally signed by the Mets as a third baseman in 1990 right out of high school.

He played with the Kingsport, Gulf Coast & St. Lucie Mets where he was transformed to a pitcher because he struck out way too often as a hitter.

In 2006 he was taken by the Montreal Expos in the Rule five draft. After three seasons there, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Drama: It was with the Dodgers he became famous for an incident where he was chased off the mound & into the dugout by Mike Piazza. Mota had thrown a pitch at Piazza in Spring Training at a Vero Beach.

Piazza grabbed him by the neck, as Mota was getting taken out of the game down by the first base line. Piazza yelled at him without throwing any punches.

A year later at another Spring Training matchup in Port St. Lucie, the two faced off again. The Dodgers had Mota pitch a second inning of work, possibly just to pitch to Piazza. On the very first pitch Mota came inside, on the second pitch he threw a fastball toward Piazza's head.

Piazza dropped his bat & charged the mound like a madman. Mota threw his glove at him & ran off the field to hide in the dugout.

Piazza was held back by Dodgers & Mets players, but had a certain look in his eye never seen before. Jeremy Burnitz went after Mota as he ran to the dugout, so did Joe Mcewing & Ty Wiggington as well. It was probably the angriest Mike Piazza ever was on a baseball field.

In July 2004 Mota was involved in a big trade, sending him along with Juan Encarnacion and Paul Lo Duca to the Florida Marlins for Hee-Seop Choi, Bill Murphy and Brad Penny. He went 1-4 with three saves posting a 3.81 ERA.

After the 2005 season he was in the middle of another big trade, going to the Boston Red Sox, with pitcher Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell for, Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado,& Harvey Garcia. He never pitched in Boston, as the journeyman was traded to the Cleveland Indians where he was 1-3 with an ERA over six & was released.

In August of 2006 the New York Mets gave him a shot and signed him. Amazingly he ended up pitching well for the rest of the season. Mota debuted as a Mets pitcher, on August 22nd in relief of John Maine in an 8-7 win. On September 1st he earned his first Mets win, it came against the Houston Astros, pitching a scoreless seventh inning.

On September 12th he earned a victory against his old Florida Marlins team mates & on the last day of the season he earned his third victory in Washington D.C. He was 3-0 with an ERA of 1.00 in 18 games, making the post season roster as one of two set men for Billy Wagner.

Post Season: In Game #1 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he allowed three runs in the top of the 7th inning, but still earned the victory as the Mets held on for the 6-5 win. in Game #3, he pitched two scoreless innings at Dodger Stadium as the Mets went on to sweep the series.

Mota appeared in five of the seven NLCS Games against the St. Louis Cardinals, posting a 4.15 ERA allowing two runs in 4.2 innings pitched. In Game #2 he blew a two run lead in the 6th inning & was credited with a blown save. With two outs he allowed a single to Albert Pujols & a walk to Jim Edmonds. Then Scott Spezio tripled, driving in both runs to tie the game, as the Mets would lose in the 9th inning.

Just prior to the 2007 season, Mota was suspended for fifty games for violating baseballs drug treatment plan, testing positive for steroids. He returned to Shea Stadium in June appearing in 52 games, going 2-2 with a 5.76 ERA.

He struggled, pitching poorly and the fans let him have it. He was getting booed every time he appeared & was gone by the end of the season.

He was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Johnny Estrada who never suited up in a Mets uniform. Mota went 5-6 in Milwaukee, then went back to the Dodgers in 2009.

Drama: That season he hit his ex-teammate Prince Fielder, with a pitch and it did not go over well. Fielder tried to go after Mota in the clubhouse, but was stopped by security guards. Mota was never the most popular guy on the field and was generally looked at as a coward.

In 2010 he signed on with the San Francisco Giants & went on to two World's Championships with them as a middle reliever.

Post Season: He made one appearance in the 2010 World Series, against the Texas Rangers pitching 2.1 scoreless innings.

In 2012 he made one appearance in the NLDS & one in the NLCS allowing two runs each time. He did not get an appearance in the World Series.

He was granted free agency but was not signed by any team in the off season. In his 14 year career Mota was 39-45 with ten saves, 696 strike outs & 331 walks in 743 games with a 3.94 ERA.

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