Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More Mota in the Orange and Black

Guillermo Mota's back for another year, according to Chris Haft of mlb.com

2012 will be his 14th season in the bigs. He's assembled a 4.4 WAR over 13 years -- 2.8 of that as a Dodger in 2003 when he pitched over 100 innings. He's never started a game.

He went over 80 innings for only the second time last year. He went 2-2 -- the game I remember was over Memorial Day weekend in Milwaukee when he couldn't hold a lead in the 9th and Jonathan Lucroy squeezed in the winning run.

That was amidst one of the worst stretches of the year -- three days after dingbat Scott Cousins tried to maim Buster Posey as part of a 3-game sweep by the Fish, followed by losing two of three to the Brew Crew. Mota was also the losing pitcher in the Posey-Cousins game.

A Giants Win hat tip to Julian Levine at Giants Nirvana for an excellent post about Mota, who was part of the reason why the Giants went all the way in 2010. Here's part --

This year, the Giants’ bullpen allowed 26 home runs. Mota accounted for ten of them. Home runs aside, Mota was solid: he struck out nearly a batter an inning (8.63/9), setting a career high in K/9. His xFIP, 3.63, was the lowest he’d posted since that dominant 2003 season, and it was one of the better marks on the team (lower than Brian Wilson, Javier Lopez, and Santiago Casilla). Twice this season — the Barry Zito foot injury, and the Madison Bumgarner disaster start — Mota went 4+ innings. He had never done that once before 2011. On August 3rd, Mota struck out six over two innings of relief, tying a career-high. It was the most strikeouts he’d tallied in a single game since — you guessed it — 2003.

Years from now, when you’re looking back at the first Giants team to win a championship in a decade, Guillermo Mota won’t be the first name to come to mind. Nor will he be the second. Or the third. There’s a chance that you won’t even remember him. But if you do, you’ll probably remember him with some modicum of fondness. Which is more than can be said for Jose Guillen. And if you go out and buy a Mota jersey, I won’t judge you.


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