Tuesday, January 11, 2011

#569) PAT MAHOMES

Pat Mahomes signed with the New York Mets as a free agent on December 21, 1998. He was placed into the role of the team's long reliever for the 1999 season. A change for the right-hander who had enjoyed some success with the Minnesota Twins as a starting pitcher. He was now returning from pitching the 1997 and 1998 seasons in Japan for the Yokohama BayStars.

Mahomes made his Mets debut on May 15, 1999, and made an immediate impact. Pat threw 2-1/3 innings of scoreless relief and earned the win as the Mets rallied to defeat the Phillies 9-7 in Philadelphia. His fifth win of the season came at Wrigley Field on August 1st. The Mets were forced to bat Mahomes in an extra-inning contest. Pat responded by driving in the winning run with a single in the top of the 13th inning. He took the mound for the bottom of the 13th and protected the 5-4 lead for the victory. Emphasing it with a loud shout following a strikeout of the final Cubs batter. "I worked so hard to get back, and it seems like it's all paying off," Mahomes said after the game. "The 5-0 record and the hitting, all that's a plus. I'm just trying to reestablish myself."

His fine season continued as the Mets chased the Atlanta Braves for the National League East division title. On August 11th, at Shea Stadium is lead-off base hit ignited a New York rally that helped the Mets to come from behind and defeat the San Diego Padres. Mahomes was credited with his sixth victory of the season. "He's making a pretty good year out of being used in that situation, and he realizes how much he's needed," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "There's no reason for him to wish for another one."

Pat finished the regular season with a perfect 8-0 record, and a 3.68 ERA in 39 appearances. His efforts contributed to the Mets winning the National League Wild Card berth into the 1999 Division Series. New York would advance to the NL Division Series, but fall to the Braves in six games. Mahomes appeared in three of those with a 1.42 ERA.

Avoiding arbitration the Mets resigned Pat for the next season. In 2000, he was asked to both work from the bullpen and act as a spot starter on occassion. The results were not as they had been the previous year. Mahomes finished with a 5-3 record, but much higher 5.40 ERA. New York again earned the N.L. Wild Card entry, but this time the Mets elected to leave Pat off all the post season rosters. Even the eventual World Series one facing the Yankees. He was given his release at the conclusion of the season.

Pat left the Mets when he returned to his Texas home, and signed a free agent contract with the Rangers on January 11, 2001. " I really would like another chance to start," Mahomes said. "I know if I play for the Mets, I'm not going to have a chance to do that. I defintely know I would like a more defined role."

Pat pitched for a variety of Independent League teams after leaving the major-leagues. "I haven't pitched in the big leagues since I was in Pittsburgh in '03," he commented as a member of the Sioux Falls team in 2007. "But when you think there's a chance you can get back, it's hard to quit."

His son, Pat Mahomes II has benefited from his coaching through the years. The junior Pat is a straight-A student and accomplished shortstop in Tyler, Texas. "This is more exciting for me," said the father Mahomes. "When you are out there playing, you have some control over what is going on. When you are in the stands watching your son, you just hope for the best."

Pat joined the staff of Thomas Hitting Academy in Longview, Texas in 2010. Booking private lessons as a pitching instructor for young players in that area.

Pat Mahomes signed his card in the set for my friend Phillip at the Thomas Hitting Academy on January 10, 2011.

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