June 28, 2010
Last night was another indication of how good Mariano Rivera is. After arguably the best closer in the NL blew a 4 run lead, Rivera comes in and shuts the door for 2 innings without even breaking a sweat. Now obviously I'm not rooting for Rivera but it's tough not to admire his work. He's the greatest closer of all time and evidently he just refuses to show his age.Â
One of the things that bugs me about people analyzing Rivera is people saying that he only throws one pitch. While he does use his legendary cutter quite often he also has two more pitchers that are very good. He throws a 4 seam fastball that's very straight yet he can spot it anywhere he wants. He also has a 2-seam fastball that he can run in on righties or away from lefties. Again he uses his cutter most often but these other two pitches he uses are weapons too.
Rivera is without a doubt the most valuable player on the Yankees over their run the past 14 years. Many people say Jeter elevates his game in the post season but take a look at this. Looking at Jeter's numbers he's a .316 hitter in the regular season and a .313 hitter in the post-season. Posada is worse and Petitte is about the same as well. Then take a look at Rivera's numbers. Just using ERA, during the regular season it's 2.22 and in the post-season it's .74. Yes, .74. He's a freak that doesn't miss, which makes the 2001 post-season and 2004 post-season so weird. He rarely blows games but when he does it's really noticeable and generally historic.
I could include all sorts of statistics to show what a freak he is, but it'll just be confirming what everyone else knows, that he's very very good. So I hope Yankee fans are enjoying their anti-climatic ninth innings because I can't wait until he retires.
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