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Monday, April 11, 2016

Mike Mohler, Big Thing - 20

Originally published March 30, 2015
Oakland reliever Mike Mohler earned this victory in this July 1993 game by going two innings without giving up a hit, according to The Associated Press.

This win was also the rookie Mohler's first in the majors.

"I figured I'd get it sometime during the year," Mohler told The AP afterward. "As a reliever, wins and losses aren't the big thing. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time."

Mohler went on to play in a total of nine major league seasons. In one of those seasons, though, his win total, or more accurately his loss total, visibly got to him.

By the time he was done, though, Mohler had seen time in 347 major league games and had a career ERA of 4.99.

Mohler's career began in 1989, taken by the Athletics in the 42nd round of the draft out of Nicholls State University.

Mohler played his first professional season in 1990, at single-A Madison. He moved to high-A Modesto and AA Huntsville in 1991, then returned to Huntsville in 1992.

In 1993, Mohler made Oakland. He also stayed up for the entire year. He got into 42 games for the Athletics, starting nine. He went 1-6, with a 5.60 ERA.

Mohler played just a single game for Oakland in 1994. He spent the rest of his time recovering in the minors from shoulder surgery

According to The San Francisco Chronicle, it was during his recovery that he got to watch other left-handers on TV, seeing how they set up hitters. He incorporated that approach into his game.

He returned to Oakland for 28 games in 1995. He had a 3.04 ERA. For 1996, Mohler got into a career high 72 games. He went 6-3, with a 3.67 ERA.

That June, he came back from an outing where he gave up four earned runs with an outing where he closed out a game without giving up a run.

"It was big," Mohler told The San Francisco Examiner after that game. "It doesn't make up for what I did yesterday, but it puts it a little further behind me."

Mohler couldn't put his 1997 season behind him fast enough. He went 1-10, with a 5.13 ERA over 62 outings, 10 starts.

He took his 10th loss in late August. Afterward, a frustrated Mohler was described by The AP as storming out of the clubhouse.

"Mike's had a tough year," Oakland Manager Art Howe told The AP. "He just can't seem to buy a break."

Mohler returned to Oakland for another 57 games in 1998. He moved to the Cardinals for 1999, getting into 48 games there. He then played two more seasons in the majors, moving to the Indians in mid-2000 and the Diamondbacks for 13 final outings in 2001, ending his career.

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