Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kevin Mmahat, Much Fun - 674

Originally published May 12, 2012
Kevin Mmahat's pitching coach had some simple advice for him before his first major league start, Mmahat told The Associated Press afterward.

"Our pitching coach, Billy Connors, told me to go out there and have fun - but it wasn't much fun," Mmahat told The AP.

It wasn't much fun because Mmahat lasted only 1.2 innings, giving up five earned runs. One of the newest Yankees, Mmahat also had that poor outing against the Red Sox in Fenway Park.

Mmahat's second major league start would come six days later. That start would also be his last.

Mmahat's career began in 1987, taken in the 31st round of the draft out of Tulane University by the Rangers. He played just one season in the Texas system, in the rookie Gulf Coast League.

For 1988, the Yankees purchased him. He played at single-A Fort Lauderdale and even got six starts at AA Albany-Colonie. Between them, he went 9-10, with a 4.09 ERA. With Fort Lauderdale, Mmahat made the league All-Star team.

Mmahat split 1989 between Albany and AAA Columbus. He went 8-5, with a 2.97 ERA between them. He also then got his call to the Bronx in September.

Years later, Mmahat recalled to SportsNOLA.com his initial arrival at Yankee Stadium.

"I could smell the fresh grass cut." Mmahat told the site. "It was in the House that Ruth built. It was emotional. I am walking in Yankee Stadium. I was crying."

Mmahat debuted with the Yankees Sept. 9, coming into the game late in a 7-0 loss to the Athletics. Mmahat picked up two outs, one on a strikeout, and gave up one hit.

He didn't get his second outing until 12 days later, a 3.1-inning effort where he gave up four earned runs. Mmahat also got ejected for hitting a batter after an earlier brawl and a warning.

Then came his first major league start. He picked up his first major league loss. His final start was little better. On Oct. 1, he gave up two earned runs, but went just two innings. He also picked up his second loss.

For 1990, Mmahat returned to Columbus for the season, going 11-5 in 20 starts. It was Columbus again for 1991, though he got just 11 starts, 12 total outings.

One of those 1991 outings, though, was a gem: a no-hitter against Louisville all with a sore shoulder.

"I didn't really think about it," Mmahat told The AP afterward of the no-hitter. "I was more concerned about my shoulder, which really didn't feel good tonight."

Mmahat played just one more season, getting seven starts over three levels, ending his career.

Mmahat has since returned to Louisiana and co-owns Rhino Shield Louisiana, selling a kind of maintenance free house paint replacement.

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