2006 National League Division Series

The 2006 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 2006 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 3, and ended on Sunday, October 8, with the champions of the three NL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. They were:

[1]

The Mets and the Cardinals met in the NL Championship Series, with the Cardinals becoming the National League champion and going on to face the American League champion Detroit Tigers in the 2006 World Series.

2006 National League Division Series
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
New York Mets (3) Willie Randolph 97–65, .599, GA: 12
Los Angeles Dodgers (0) Grady Little 88–74, .543, GB: 0
DatesOctober 4 – 7
TelevisionESPN (Game 1)
Fox (Games 2–3)
TV announcersGary Thorne, Joe Morgan, Steve Phillips (Game 1)
Thom Brennaman, Steve Lyons (Game 2)
Thom Brennaman, Tim McCarver (Game 3)
RadioESPN
Radio announcersDan Shulman, Dave Campbell
UmpiresJohn Hirschbeck, Ted Barrett, Eric Cooper, Ron Kulpa, Mike Winters, Brian O'Nora
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
St. Louis Cardinals (3) Tony La Russa 83–78, .516, GA: 1½
San Diego Padres (1) Bruce Bochy 88–74, .543, GA: 0
DatesOctober 3 – 8
TelevisionESPN (Games 1–2)
ESPN2 (Game 3)
Fox (Game 4)
TV announcersChris Berman, Orel Hershiser (Games 1–2)
Jon Miller, Joe Morgan (Game 3)
Thom Brennaman, Tim McCarver (Game 4)
RadioESPN
Radio announcersWayne Hagin, Luis Gonzalez
UmpiresGerry Davis, Bill Welke, Brian Gorman, Greg Gibson, Wally Bell, Marty Foster

Playoff race

The NL playoff race was highly dramatic when as many as six teams entered the final weekend of the regular season fighting for the final three playoff spots. Two of three division champions were decided on the final day of the regular season.

The New York Mets began the season with high hopes of finally ending the Atlanta Braves' string of division titles. The Mets lived up to their high expectations and roared out of the gate, taking over first place in the division on the fourth day of the season and never looking back. They won seven of their first eight games, and had built up a double-digit lead in the standings by the end of June. The Mets clinched the division on September 18, and finished twelve games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves finished third, eighteen games back. However, the Mets entered the postseason without injured ace Pedro Martínez, and learned the day before Game 1 of the Division Series that projected Game 1 starter Orlando Hernández would be lost for the whole round.

The St. Louis Cardinals' run to their third consecutive Central Division championship pales in comparison to their runs in the previous two seasons. As before, the Cardinals took over the lead in the division early on, overtaking the Cincinnati Reds on June 9. It appeared as if this season would follow the established pattern as the Cardinals steadily built up their lead to as much as five and a half games and a 42–26 record on June 19. The Cardinals began interleague play by being swept by both the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers as part of an eight-game losing streak. Despite the slump, they did not relinquish the division lead. The Reds were able to tie the Cardinals in the standings on June 30 and July 1, but the Cardinals regained sole possession of first place the following day and held onto the lead for the rest of the season despite additional losing streaks of eight and seven games. The Cardinals' struggles largely stemmed from the numerous injuries to key players throughout the season, including Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, David Eckstein, Chris Carpenter, Mark Mulder, and Jason Isringhausen. The title appeared to be well in hand on September 19 with leads of seven games over the Reds and eight and half games over the Houston Astros with just thirteen games left to play. The Cardinals then went on another seven-game losing streak just as the Astros won seven consecutive, shrinking the Cardinals' lead to just a game and a half. The Cardinals were able to regain their composure, winning three of their next four and clinching on the final day of the season with an Astros loss to the Atlanta Braves.

The San Diego Padres' playoff run was led by their strong pitching and saw closer Trevor Hoffman overtake Lee Smith as the all-time saves leader. This season also marked the first time in Padres history that the team went to the playoffs in consecutive years. The Padres did not clinch a playoff spot until the final weekend of the regular season and finished with an identical record to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but were awarded the Western Division title due to the Padres winning the season series against the Dodgers 13–5.

The Los Angeles Dodgers' run to the playoffs was most notable for their streaky play in the second half of the season. The Dodgers started the second half by losing thirteen out of fourteen games and trailing the Padres by seven and a half games, in last place in the division, and behind eight teams in the wild card race. They immediately followed that streak by winning seventeen of their next eighteen to put them on top of the division by three and half games, with a better record than all eight teams they had trailed in the wild card race prior to the streak. Their inconsistent play continued as they were swept by the Padres in late August as part of a four-game losing streak, only to follow that up by winning seven consecutive, then losing their next three. The Dodgers finished the season strong by winning their final seven games, clinching a playoff berth in the final weekend over the Philadelphia Phillies and finishing tied with the Padres. The Dodgers were awarded the wild-card spot based on their 5-13 head-to-head record against San Diego, who earned the divisional championship.

Matchups

New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

New York won the series, 3–0.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 4 Los Angeles Dodgers – 5, New York Mets – 6 Shea Stadium 3:05 56,979[2] 
2 October 5 Los Angeles Dodgers – 1, New York Mets – 4 Shea Stadium 2:57 57,029[3] 
3 October 7 New York Mets – 9, Los Angeles Dodgers – 5 Dodger Stadium 3:51 56,293[4]

San Diego Padres vs. St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis won the series, 3–1.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 3 St. Louis Cardinals – 5, San Diego Padres – 1 Petco Park 2:54 43,107[5] 
2 October 5 St. Louis Cardinals – 2, San Diego Padres – 0 Petco Park 2:54 43,463[6] 
3 October 7 San Diego Padres – 3, St. Louis Cardinals – 1 Busch Stadium (III) 3:33 46,634[7] 
4 October 8 San Diego Padres – 2, St. Louis Cardinals – 6 Busch Stadium (III) 2:44 46,476[8]

New York vs. Los Angeles

Game 1, October 4

Shea Stadium in Queens, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 5 11 1
New York 0 0 0 2 0 2 2 0 X 6 9 1
WP: Guillermo Mota (1–0)   LP: Brad Penny (0–1)   Sv: Billy Wagner (1)
Home runs:
LAD: None
NYM: Carlos Delgado (1), Cliff Floyd (1)

The game started off with Mets rookie starter John Maine on the mound as an emergency replacement for Orlando Hernández. Hernández was sidelined with a torn muscle, and ended up missing the rest of the postseason. Maine kept the Mets in the game with only one earned run in ​4 13 innings pitched. This game was notable for having two runners getting tagged out at home plate in the second inning. With runners on first and second and nobody out, catcher Russell Martin hit a line drive to the wall in right field. Jeff Kent tried to tag up from second base in the event that right fielder Shawn Green caught the ball. Instead, the ball sailed over Green's head. Both Kent and J. D. Drew raced around the bases towards the plate. Green threw to cut-off man José Valentín, who relayed to Paul Lo Duca at the plate. Lo Duca was first able to tag out Kent. Drew, trying to score in desperation right behind Kent, was also tagged out at the plate. Lo Duca almost did not see Drew in time to slap the tag on. Martin would score on Marlon Anderson's double but Carlos Delgado and Cliff Floyd hit solo home runs in the fourth off of Derek Lowe. Lo Duca and Delgado singled in the sixth before scoring on David Wright's double to make it 4–1 Mets. In the seventh, Anderson hit a leadoff single off of Guillermo Mota and second baseman Valetin's error on Wilson Betemit's ground ball put runners on first and third with no outs for the Dodgers. After Julio Lugo struck out, Anderson scored on Rafael Furcal's single. After Furcal stole second, Nomar Garciaparra's two-out double tied the game,. In the bottom of the inning, reliever Brad Penny walked two with one out before Delgado's single and Wright's double scored a run each. In the ninth, closer Billy Wagner allowed a leadoff double to Betemit, who scored on Ramon Martinez's two-out double, but Garciaparra struck out to end the game as the Mets took a 1–0 series lead.

Game 2, October 5

Shea Stadium in Queens, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 5 1
New York 0 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 X 4 7 0
WP: Tom Glavine (1–0)   LP: Hong-Chih Kuo (0–1)   Sv: Billy Wagner (2)
Home runs:
LAD: Wilson Betemit (1)
NYM: None

Game 2 pitted Dodgers rookie Hong-Chih Kuo against Tom Glavine. In the bottom of the third, outfielder Endy Chávez hit a bunt single to lead off the inning. A wild pitch and subsequent ground out moved him to third before he scored on José Reyes's ground out. In the fifth, the Mets loaded the bases on a hit and two walks with one out off of Kuo, who was then relieved by Brett Tomko. Paul Lo Duca's sacrifice fly gave the Mets a 2–0 lead. In the sixth, the Mets loaded the bases again on two hits and an error with no outs. Mark Hendrickson relieved Tomko and got Endy Chavez to hit into a force out at home. Pinch-hitter Julio Franco's fielder's choice and Reyes's RBI single scored a run each. Wilson Betemit hit a home run in the eighth off of Aaron Heilman for the Dodgers but Wagner pitched a perfect ninth for his second save of the series. The Dodgers were hit with more bad news. Nomar Garciaparra was lost after a leg injury that would keep him off the field except for pinch-hitting duties.

Game 3, October 7

Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 3 0 1 0 0 3 0 2 0 9 14 2
Los Angeles 0 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 5 16 2
WP: Pedro Feliciano (1–0)   LP: Jonathan Broxton (0–1)
Home runs:
NYM: None
LAD: Jeff Kent (1)

In Los Angeles, the Mets loaded the bases in the first with one out on a walk and two singles off of veteran starter Greg Maddux before RBI singles by David Wright, Cliff Floyd and Shawn Green put them up 3–0. In the third, Floyd singled with two outs before scoring on Green's double. In the fourth, the Dodgers loaded the bases on three singles off of Mets starter Steve Trachsel with one out before rookie first baseman James Loney, starting in place of the injured Nomar Garciaparra, drove in two with a single to center. In the fifth, Marlon Anderson singled with two outs before Jeff Kent's home run off reliever Darren Oliver tied the game at four. After allowing a single to J. D. Drew, Oliver was relieved by Chad Bradford, who allowed a single and walk to load the bases. Pedro Feliciano relieved Bradford and walked Loney to put the Dodgers up 5–4. In the top of the sixth, Shawn Green hit a leadoff double off of Jonathan Broxton. After José Valentín popped out on the infield, pinch hitter Michael Tucker drew a walk. Three consecutive bloop hits from José Reyes, Paul Lo Duca, and Carlos Beltrán scored a run each, making it 7–5 Mets. Chris Woodward doubled to lead off the eighth off of Brett Tomko and scored on Lo Duca's one-out single. After a walk, Takashi Saito relieved Tomko and an error on Carlos Delgado's ground ball made it 9–5 Mets. Aaron Heilman and Billy Wagner pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively, as the Mets swept a postseason series for the first time since the 1969 NLCS. Former Dodgers Green and Lo Duca finished with two RBI each.

Composite box

2006 NLDS (3–0): New York Mets over Los Angeles Dodgers

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York Mets 3 0 2 2 1 7 2 2 0 19 30 3
Los Angeles Dodgers 0 1 0 2 3 0 3 1 1 11 32 4
Total attendance: 170,301   Average attendance: 56,767

San Diego vs. St. Louis

Game 1, October 3

Petco Park in San Diego, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 0 3 1 1 0 0 0 5 12 0
San Diego 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0
WP: Chris Carpenter (1–0)   LP: Jake Peavy (0–1)
Home runs:
STL: Albert Pujols (1)
SD: None

In a pitching rematch of Game 1 of the 2005 NLDS, Chris Carpenter and Jake Peavy both started strong through three innings and it appeared that the pitcher's duel that was expected the previous year would occur this time around. That changed in the fourth inning when Chris Duncan hit a leadoff single, then Albert Pujols hit a two-run home run 422 feet (129 m) into one of the deepest parts of Petco Park. Jim Edmonds then singled, moved to third on Scott Rolen's double, and scored on Juan Encarnación's sacrifice fly. The Cardinals added to their lead on Edmonds's RBI single next inning that scored David Eckstein from third and in the sixth when Ronnie Belliard singled with one out, stole second, and scored on Yadier Molina's single to knock Peavy out of the game. Carpenter, on the other hand, continued his strong pitching performance as he pitched into the seventh inning, allowing just one run to cross the plate when Dave Roberts tripled with one out in the sixth and scored on Brian Giles's sacrifice fly. The Cardinal bullpen, which had been shaky down the stretch, pitched the final ​2 23 innings of the game allowing just one hit. The Cardinals led the best-of-five series one game to none.[9]

Game 2, October 5

Petco Park in San Diego, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 10 0
San Diego 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
WP: Jeff Weaver (1–0)   LP: David Wells (0–1)   Sv: Adam Wainwright (1)

Cardinal starter Jeff Weaver and four relievers combined on a four-hitter to shut out the Padres 2–0. The only runs scored in the game came in the fourth when Preston Wilson hit a leadoff double and scored on a single by Albert Pujols, who reached second on Dave Roberts's throw to home. Pujols moved to third on a groundout before scoring on Jim Edmonds's RBI single. Padres starter David Wells pitched five solid innings in a losing effort.

Game 3, October 7

Busch Stadium (III) in St. Louis, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Diego 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 10 0
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 5 2
WP: Chris Young (1–0)   LP: Jeff Suppan (0–1)   Sv: Trevor Hoffman (1)
Home runs:
SD: None
STL: So Taguchi (1)

Game 3 ended the Padres' eight-game winless streak against the Cardinals in the postseason and gave them their first postseason win since Game 6 of the 1998 NLCS. However, they left fourteen runners on base. The Padres scored their runs in the third off of Jeff Suppan when he allowed a one-out double to Adrian Gonzalez and walked Mike Cameron before both men scored on Russell Branyan's double to left, with Branyan reaching third on Chris Duncan's throw to home. Branyan then scored on Geoff Blum's sacrifice fly. The Cardinals scored their only run in the eighth on So Taguchi's home run off of reliever Scott Linebrink.

As of 2018, this was the last postseason win for the Padres.

Game 4, October 8

Busch Stadium (III) in St. Louis, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Diego 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 1
St. Louis 2 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 X 6 7 0
WP: Chris Carpenter (2–0)   LP: Woody Williams (0–1)

After losing Game 3, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa decided to use Carpenter to start Game 4 in hopes of closing out the Series at home. Carpenter started off shakily, allowing back-to-back one hit singles to Brian Giles and Adrian Gonzalez and walking Josh Bard to load the bases. Russell Branyan walked to force in a run before Mike Cameron's groundout scored another. Carpenter settled down and pitched six scoreless innings before being pulled in the eighth.

St. Louis answered by loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning off of Woody Williams on a single, walk and hit-by-pitch with two outs before Ronnie Belliard tied the game with a two-run single, but was tagged out at second to end the inning. The game remained tied until the seventh when Albert Pujols drew a leadoff walk and scored on Juan Encarnación's triple. Williams was replaced with Cla Meredith, who hit Belliard with a pitch before allowing an RBI single to Scott Spiezio. Yadier Molina's single loaded the bases before Padre third baseman Branyan's throwing error to second on Carpenter's ground ball scored Belliard and kept the bases loaded. David Eckstein's sacrifice bunt scored Spiezio to give the Cardinals a 6–2 lead. Rookie pitcher Adam Wainwright pitched a scoreless ninth despite allowing two hits to close out the Series and allow the Cardinals to advance to the NLCS for the third consecutive year.

The offensive woes that plagued the Padres in the first three games continued for the Padres in Game 4. The team failed to score after the first, and went a combined 2-for-32 with runners in scoring position in the Series.

It was the final Division Series game televised by Fox, at least for the foreseeable future. This is also, as of 2018, the last playoff game for the Padres.

Composite box

2006 NLDS (3–1): St. Louis Cardinals over San Diego Padres

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis Cardinals 2 0 0 5 1 5 0 1 0 14 34 2
San Diego Padres 2 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 6 29 1
Total attendance: 179,680   Average attendance: 44,920

Series quotes

Payoff pitch again...there he goes...and there it goes! To deep left center field! Back, back, back, gone! Albert Pujols has done it again, a two-run shot here in the fourth inning and the Cardinals have struck first 2–0.

3–2 to Martinez...in the air down the right field line. Green, in the corner, he's got room...and the New York Mets, for the first time since 2000, will advance to the National League Championship Series, they have swept the Dodgers, three games to none.

Now it's three and two, Loney running, Wagner deals: Swing and a fly ball, right field, towards the line...Green over...in foul ground, makes the catch! Put it in the books! The Mets are gonna play for the pennant! They have swept the Dodgers in the National League Division Series, winning three straight. They blew a four-run lead early, the Dodgers came back to take a 5–4 lead, but the Mets stormed back, they win it 9–5 and now they are all jumping up and down right in front of second base!

— Howie Rose on WFAN

2–2 pitch...breaking ball, on the ground to Pujols, and for the third straight year the St. Louis Cardinals advance to the National League Championship Series.

Swing and a slow roller to the Cardinal first baseman, he takes care of it unassisted, and the Redbirds are headin' for Gotham!

— Cardinal broadcaster Mike Shannon calls the last out of the NLDS

Notes

  1. ^ The higher seed (in parentheses) had the home field advantage, which was determined by playing record. The Padres were awarded the Western Division title over the Dodgers due to their winning the season series against Los Angeles 13–5.
  2. ^ "2006 NLDS - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets - Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "2006 NLDS - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets - Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "2006 NLDS - New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers - Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "2006 NLDS - St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres - Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "2006 NLDS - St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres - Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "2006 NLDS - San Diego Padres vs. St. Louis Cardinals - Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  8. ^ "2006 NLDS - San Diego Padres vs. St. Louis Cardinals - Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  9. ^ Major League Baseball, Carpenter, Pujols Power Cards

External links

2006 Division Series

2006 Division Series may refer to:

2006 American League Division Series

2006 National League Division Series

2006 Los Angeles Dodgers season

In 2006, the Los Angeles Dodgers looked to improve their record from 2005. The team switched General Managers from Paul DePodesta to Ned Colletti, and hired Grady Little as the new manager. The Dodgers were able to win 88 games. In the National League Western Division, the Dodgers won the wild card, but in the first round of the playoffs lost in three straight games against the Mets. This is also their first season to be broadcast on KCAL-TV (9).

2006 San Diego Padres season

The 2006 San Diego Padres season was the 38th season in franchise history. The Padres captured their second consecutive National League West crown, with a record of 88–74, and for the first time in franchise history back-to-back postseason appearances, and three consecutive winning seasons. Although the Padres final record equaled that of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Padres record of 13-5 against the Dodgers awarded them the official division title. The 2006 season also marked the end of Bruce Bochy's tenure as manager of the team, after 24 seasons overall, 12 seasons as manager (1995–2006), winning 4 division titles (1996, 1998, 2005, 2006). The Padres were eliminated in the 2006 National League Division Series by the eventual World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, losing 3–1.

Brian O'Nora

Brian Keith O'Nora (born February 7, 1963) is an umpire in Major League Baseball (MLB). He joined the major league staff in 2000, after previously umpiring for the American League (AL) from 1992 to 1999 and wears sleeve number 7.

Chris Young (pitcher)

Christopher Ryan Young (born May 25, 1979) is an American former professional baseball pitcher who is currently MLB Vice President of On-Field Operations. He made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut on August 24, 2004, with the Texas Rangers and also has Major League experience with the San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, and Kansas City Royals. He had previously excelled in basketball and baseball at Highland Park High School in University Park, Texas, and Princeton University.

Young helped Highland Park reach the Class 4A Region II basketball final in 1997 and the Class 4A Texas state basketball final in 1998. He tossed a no-hitter in 1997 while compiling a 6–0 record, helping Highland Park reach the Class 4A Texas state baseball final. During his senior year, he was District Most Valuable Player in basketball, and led his baseball team to the state championship, while pitching in two no-hitters. That year, he was a first-team All-State selection in basketball and baseball. After a high school career as an athlete and scholar, Young excelled in both baseball and basketball for Princeton University and became the Ivy League's first male two-sport Rookie of the Year.

Selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round of the June 2000 draft, he had brief professional experiences in the Pirates, Montreal Expos, and Texas Rangers minor league systems before debuting with the Rangers in August 2004. Young's professional baseball career took off in the 2006 season, when he was the major league leader in opponent batting average, hits per nine innings and road earned run average (ERA) and was named the National League Pitcher of the Month for June. Additionally, he extended his streak of consecutive undefeated games started as a visiting pitcher to 24, and secured the only Padres win in the team's 3–1 series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 National League Division Series. In 2007, he defended his opponent batting average and hits per nine innings titles, but instead of winning the road ERA title he won the home ERA title.

He is 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 m), which makes him, along with former pitchers Eric Hillman, Randy Johnson, Andrew Brackman and Andrew Sisco, the second tallest player in baseball history, next to relief pitcher Jon Rauch (who is 6 feet 11 inches (2.11 m) and Young's teammate on the 2012 New York Mets). He was elected to the 2007 MLB All-Star Game as a first-time All-Star via the All-Star Final Vote.

Dave Roberts (outfielder)

David Ray Roberts (born May 31, 1972) is an American professional baseball manager and former outfielder who is the current manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for five Major League teams over a ten-year career and then coached for the San Diego Padres before being named Dodgers manager for the 2016 season. The son of a Japanese mother and African American father, Roberts became the first manager of Asian heritage to lead a team to the World Series in 2017, when the Dodgers captured the National League pennant. Although he played for the Boston Red Sox for only part of one season, his most notable achievement as a player was a key stolen base in the 2004 ALCS that ignited the Red Sox's drive to their championship that year. Roberts batted and threw left-handed.

Guillermo Mota

Guillermo Reynoso Mota (born July 25, 1973) is a Dominican former professional baseball relief pitcher in Major League Baseball. In his career, he pitched for the Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants. Mota is 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall and weighs 240 pounds (110 kg). He throws and bats right-handed. He throws three pitches: a fastball, a slider and a circle changeup.

Mota was originally signed by the New York Mets in 1990 as an infielder. After several years in their organization, he was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the Rule 5 draft in 1996 and converted into a pitcher in 1997. Mota had a 2.96 ERA in 1999, his rookie season, but he struggled in his next two seasons and was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to 2002. His struggles continued in his first year with the Dodgers, but Mota had a career year in 2003, as he had a 6–3 record with a 1.97 ERA in 76 games. He became the setup man to closer Éric Gagné in 2004, but was traded to the Florida Marlins midseason. Mota started 2005 as their closer, but Todd Jones took over the role when Mota got hurt in April. Following the year, Mota was traded to the Boston Red Sox.

Before Mota ever played for the Red Sox, however, he was traded again to the Cleveland Indians. He struggled in his time with the Indians in 2006 and was designated for assignment by them in August. The New York Mets acquired him, and Mota improved mightily upon joining them. Following the season, he became a free agent, but he again signed with the Mets. After struggling in 2007, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. He got off to a poor start with Milwaukee in 2008 but improved in the second half. Following the season, Mota became a free agent and signed with the Dodgers again. He had his best year since 2004 and became a free agent again after the season. For the first time in his career, in 2010 he signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants. After making the team out of spring training, Mota won his first career World Series despite struggling at times during the season. Following the season, he signed another minor league contract with the Giants and made the team out of spring training again. During the 2012 season, Mota became one of three players in league history to fail a drug test twice when it was shown he tested positive for Clenbuterol, a performance-enhancing drug.

History of the Los Angeles Dodgers

The history of the Los Angeles Dodgers begins in the 19th century when the team was based in Brooklyn, New York.

History of the New York Mets

The history of the New York Mets began in 1962 when the team was introduced as part of the National League's first expansion of the 20th century. The team's history includes two World Series championships and five National League pennants.

Jeff Weaver

Jeffrey Charles Weaver (born August 22, 1976) is a former right-handed Major League Baseball pitcher. During his career, he pitched for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, St. Louis Cardinals, and Seattle Mariners. He is the older brother of fellow MLB pitcher Jered Weaver.

José Reyes (infielder)

José Bernabénis Reyes (born June 11, 1983) is a Dominican-American professional baseball infielder who is currently a free agent. He has played, most notably at shortstop, in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Mets, Miami Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays, and Colorado Rockies.

Reyes is a four-time MLB All-Star. He led MLB in triples in 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2011. Reyes also led the National League (NL) in stolen bases in 2005, 2006, and 2007. He was the NL batting champion in 2011. He is also the New York Mets' all-time leader in triples and stolen bases, and has the most stolen bases among all active players.

Marty Foster

Martin Robert Foster (born November 25, 1963) is an umpire in Major League Baseball. After first working in the American League in 1996, he joined the league staff in 1999 and has worked throughout both major leagues since 2000. Foster has umpired in two All-Star Games and three League Division Series.

Orlando Hernández

Orlando Hernández Pedroso (born October 11, 1965), nicknamed "El Duque" (Spanish for "The Duke"), is a Cuban-born right-handed former professional baseball pitcher. He pitched for the Industriales of the Cuban National Series, the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, and New York Mets of Major League Baseball, and the Cuban national baseball team in international play.

Hernández's greatest success came as a starting pitcher for the Yankees during that team's run of World Series championships in 1998, 1999, and 2000. He also won a World Series ring in 2005 with the Chicago White Sox. He is the half-brother of major league pitcher Liván Hernández.

Hernández is known for his extremely high leg kick and his frequent use of the Eephus pitch.

Ronnie Belliard

Ronald Belliard (born April 7, 1975) is an American former professional baseball second baseman. He played 13 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1998 to 2010 for the Milwaukee Brewers, Colorado Rockies, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He batted and threw right-handed. Belliard was born in The Bronx, New York.

Steve Lyons (baseball)

Stephen John Lyons (born June 3, 1960) is a former American professional baseball player who currently works as a television sportscaster for the New England Sports Network (NESN). He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for four teams over a period of nine seasons (1985–1993), including four stints with the Boston Red Sox. He was initially an outfielder and third baseman, but found a niche as a utility player. After his retirement as a player, he became a television baseball commentator.

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