Sep 21, 2015

Early 2000's Mets Relief Pitcher: Mark Guthrie (2002)

Mark Andrew Guthrie was born September 22, 1965 in Buffalo, New York. The six foot four, left hander's family moved to a warmer climate & he attended high school in Venice, Florida. Guthrie then went to LSU, pitching for the Tigers baseball team there.

Guthrie was signed in the 7th round of the 1987 draft, by the Minnesota Twins. Two years later he was in the big leagues with the Twins, beginning his career as a starting pitcher. He would win seven games two straight years in the Twins rotation, then got moved to the bullpen becoming a middle reliever.

Post Season: He appeared in the 1991 post season with the World Champion Twins, pitching two games in the ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays. In Game #3 he earned the win, after pitching a scoreless 9th inning.

In the World Series win over the Atlanta Braves, he appeared in four games. He took the loss in Game #4 at Atlanta, giving up a 9th inning triple & an intentional walk, before getting relieved.

He gave the ball to Steve Bedrosian, who allowed the game winning sac fly to Jerry Willard. Guthrie would get into five more post seasons in his career, pitching in 15 games going 1-2 with a 3.46 post season ERA.

Guthrie spent six years in Minnesota, then four seasons in Los Angeles with the Dodgers (1995-1998) getting to two post seasons. The journeyman also pitched for the Boston Red Sox (1999)& Chicago White Sox (1999-2000). In 2000 he pitched for three teams, Chicago, Tampa Rays & Toronto Blue Jays.

For 2001, he signed with the A.L. Western Champion Oakland Athletics having his best season. He was a successful part of the 2001 wild card Oakland A's bullpen, going 6-2 with 12 holds, one save and a 4.47 ERA making 54 appearances.

Post Season: In the ALDS he appeared in two games, pitching three scoreless innings. That December he was traded to the New York Mets with pitcher Tyler Yates, in exchange for David Justice.

Guthrie debuted with the Mets, on April 3rd in the second game of the season in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Guthrie would pitch well for the 2002 Mets, from May 25th through August 3rd he would not allow a rub in 33 consecutive appearances (27 innings). Through early June, he had himself seven holds & recorded a save.

He earned his first Mets win on June 16th, during a subway series game, where the Mets scored three runs in the bottom of the 8th inning on Mo Vaughn's three run HR. Later that week he earned a win in an interleague game against the K.C. Royals.

A busy July had him make 22 appearances & earn eight more holds. More importantly he earned three victories in the month as well, ending the month with a 1.05 ERA.

On August 4th, he gave a up a 7th inning, three run HR to Arizona's Luis Gonzales & took his first loss, as the D-backs beat New York 12-7. He then lost his last three decisions of the year over the next two months, as he saw less time. Overall in 68 games he was 5-3 with 17 holds while posting a solid 2.44 ERA. He struck out 44 batters, while walking 19, allowing 13 earned runs in 48 innings of work.

Guthrie went to the Chicago Cubs in 2003 getting to another post season there, going as far as the NLCS. He was the losing pitcher of NLCS Game #1 allowing an extra inning HR to the Florida Marlins; Mike Lowell at Wrigley Field.

It was his final season, at age 37, he ended a 15 year career going 51-54 with 14 saves & a 4.05 ERA in 765 games pitched.

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