Octavio Dotel: 1999 NL Wild Card Mets Pitcher (1999)

Octavio Eduardo Dotel
was born on November 25, 1973, at Santo Domingo. His father was Emilio & his mother Maria Magdalena. Octavio had two brothers & two sisters. 
In 1993 just after he signed his contract his father was robbed & killed in Santo Domingo. 

Dotel was signed as an amateur free agent by The New York Mets in 1993, playing at their Dominican affiliate for two years.
He developed in the Mets minor leagues going 11-3 in at A ball in 1996, advancing up to AA & AAA going 12-8 posting a 2.84 ERA in 1998. 

In 1999 he was 5-2 at Norfolk when he got called up at the end of June 

Mets Career: On June 26th, Dotel made his MLB debut starting a game against the Braves in Atlanta. He got shelled for six runs on five hits, including a Ryan Klesko three run HR.

On July 1st, he made his second start giving up five more runs in Florida against the Marlins. But he Mets offense produced 12 runs giving Octavio his first victory.  

He settled into the rotation nicely, going into the seventh inning or beyond in his next three starts
not allowing more than one earned run each time. 

On July 19th he earned a win in Baltimore, allowing just a run thru seven. On July 31st he was hit hard for nine runs & a pair of HRs in a 17-10 loss at Wrigley Field, although he got no decision. On August 6th, he struck out a season high ten batters at Shea Stadium, in a 2-1 win over Chan Ho Park & the Dodgers.

In his next three starts he gave up three runs or more, earning no decisions. On August 27th, Dotel allowed just a run in eight innings at Arizona earning his fifth win. He was 5-1 even though his ERA was still 5.20.

He collected September wins at Houston even though he gave up four runs & another at Shea holding the Giants to a run thru seven innings. On September 14th he lost to the Rockies, giving up six runs & a pair of HRs at Colorado which brought his ERA back over five.

On September 19th, he came into a game with the Phillies in relief & earned his eighth win of the season. Dotel stayed in the bullpen for his final five appearances. The Mets won a tie for the wild card spot & beat the Reds in a deciding game in Cincinnati.

For the year Dotel was 8-3 with a 5.86 ERA, he had 85 strikeouts& walked 49 in 86 innings. He also gave up 12 HRs & hit six batters with pitches. Dotel made 19 appearances making 14 starts.

1999 Post Season- NLDS: In the NLDS win over the Diamondbacks, Dotel pitched in Game #2 coming in the 7th inning behind 5-1. He gave up a double, hit a batter & walked two including a bases loaded walk to Steve Finley in the 7-1 Mets loss.

1999 NLCS: In the NLCS Dotel was the winning pitcher in Game #5 when Robin Ventura hit his famous grand slam single. Dotel had entered the game in the 13th inning & pitched two scoreless, But in the top of the 13th he gave up a lead off base hit to Walt Weiss. After getting two outs, Keith Lockhart tripled bringing in Weiss in what was the go ahead run.

Post Mets Career: That December he was traded to the Houston Astros along with Roger Cedeno in exchange for Mike Hampton & Derek Bell. Hampton would be a big part of the Mets 2000 pennant season. 

In Houston, Dotel saved 16 games striking out 142 batters in 125 innings while posting an ERA of 5.40. Billy Wagner took over the closing role the next year & Dotel became his set up man.

2001 Post Season: Dotel made two appearances in the NLDS loss to the Atlanta Braves.

In the next three years he posted winning record with ERAs under three each season. 

In June of 2004 he was part of a three-team trade, that sent him to Oakland & Carlos Beltran to the Astros.

He was the A's closer the rest of the season, going 6-6 saving 22 games for Ken Macha's second place A's who won 91 games. After 15 games the next season, he went on the DL & it determined he needed Tommy John surgery ending his season. 

Dotel would go on to pitch for the AL New York team (2006) the Kansas City Royals (2007) Atlanta Braves (2007) & the Chicago White Sox (2008-2009).

2008 Post Season-ALDS: Dotel made two appearances for the White Sox in the ALDS loss to the Tampa Rays. In Game #3 he gave up a run in the 6-2 loss. In the final Game #6 he gave up a double to the only batter he faced, Jason Bartlett. He was charged with a run when he scored on Carlos Pena's base hit.

In 2010 he went to the Pittsburgh Pirates becoming the team's closer, saving 21 games for the Pirates through July 31st when he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline.

On September 18th, he was traded again, this time to the Colorado Rockies where he finished the year. In January 2011 he signed as a free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Dotel was 2-1 with a 3.68 ERA in 36 games, but was then traded at the deadline to the St. Louis
Cardinals. In the deal 
Edwin Jackson, Corey Patterson & Marc Rzepczynski also went to St. Louis in exchange for Trever Miller, Colby Rasmus, Brian Tallet and P.J. Walters. 

The trade solidified the Cardinals bullpen that got them to the World Series. In 29 games with the Card's he went 3-3 with two saves posting a 3.28 ERA getting credit or five holds.  

2011 Post Season: In the NLDS he made three appearances, pitching 2.2 scoreless innings in the win over the Phillies. In Game #2 he was the winning pitcher at Citizen's Bank Park in the 5-4 win. 

2011 NLCS:
In the NLCS win over Milwaukee Dotel appeared in four games. In Game #1 he gave up a double then a two run HR to Yuniesky Betancourt in the Brewers 9-6 win at Miller Park. 

In Games Four thru Six he pitched three scoreless innings with five strike outs. In Game #6 at Busch Stadium, he relieved Jaime Garcia with the bases loaded & two outs in the 5th inning. He struck out Ryan Braun to end the inning then pitched a scoreless 6th earning the victory.

2011 World Series: In the World Series, win over the Texas Rangers, Dotel would appear in five games. He was credited with a hold in the 3-2 Game 31 win in St. Louis. 

In Game #5 he was the losing pitcher after being charged with two runs in the 8th inning. In Game #7 he retired the final two batters of the 7th inning & would get credit with a hold in the 6-2 series winning clincher.

After the Championship:
n 2012 Octavio signed on with the Detroit Tigers getting himself to a second straight World Series. In the regular season he was 5-3 with eleven holds & one save posting a 3.57 ERA in 57 appearances. He & Joaquin Benoit served as set up men to Jose Valverde.

2012 Post Season: In the ALDS win over Oakland, he made two appearances pitching a scoreless inning. In the ALCS win over the AL New York team, he made two more scoreless appearances. 

In the World Series loss to the Giants, he appeared in two games, pitching 1.2 scoreless. Dotel walked one batter in his last five post season games that year,

After the Pennant: In 2013 he pitched just six games with the Tigers watching his ERA balloon to 13.54 & then finished the year in the minor leagues. He retired at the end of the year.

Career Stats: In a 15-year career Dotel was 59-50 with 109 saves & a 3.78 ERA. He has 1143 strikeouts & 412 walks in 951 innings pitched in 758 appearances & 305 games finished (113th all time).

Family: Octavio & his wife Massiel have three children.

Drama: In 2019 he was arrested on charges related to drugs, money laundering & possessing an illegal weapon. (Luis Castillo was involved as well) The first two charges were eventually dropped.


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