Much like real life, Guillermo Mota doesn’t get a lot of love on this blog. He’s not as flashy as Brian Wilson. He doesn’t have a devastating slider like Sergio Romo. His breaking ball doesn’t buckle knees like Jeremy Affedlt. But the 38 year old reliever is continually thrown into crap-filled situations by Bochy and usually comes out shining, despite his less than overpowering stuff.
Take last night for example. Against a young an inexperienced team, Mota pulled out his best Vlade Divac and attempted to toy with the youthful ‘Stros, almost decapitating his catcher at one point. As you can in the above picture (which you can watch here), Mota attempted to quick pitch Jimmy Paredes who scrambled to prepare for the pitch. Unfortunately for Mota, he also quick pitched his catcher as Chris Stewart wasn’t even looking at Mota when the pitch was delivered. Needless to say, Mota, with his quick thinking, sent the ball far to the right and into the backstop over sending his catcher to the ER.
But that was more novelty veteran crafty than effective, which Mota saved for later.
With the Astros threatening to take the lead, Mota decided to pull out another trick from his bag – one that quite possibly saved the game for the Giants. Sitting in what I believe was a 3-1 count, an obvious fastball situation, Guillermo Mota began his motion to get set on the mound. In the process, he deliberately (but not obviously) gripped the ball as if he was going to throw a changeup, showing it to the batter. I saw it. Krukow saw it. You know the batter saw it. Mota quickly changed the grip in the glove and fired a fastball past the batter, a swing where he was clearly late. Was he simply just late on the pitch? I guess it’s possible, but if you’re sitting on fastball, then think you’re getting a change and still are late? I’m thinking you just got worked by some crafty vet. Either way, there was no way the batter was confident in getting a fastball in a situation he should have been – the cast of doubt shadowed that entire pitch by a simple but effective fake-out on Mota’s part.
Mota got out of the inning un-scored upon.