MARIANO RIVERA OFF TO VINTAGE START IN FINAL SEASON
Added by Gregg Snyder on April 30, 2013.
(Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Prior to the 2013 season, the greatest closer in baseball history announced this would be his final year. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is a legend, not only in pinstripes, but in all of baseball. Baseball fans all across the country have one final season to watch one of the most dominant pitchers in the history of the game. And, Mr. Rivera has been just that so far in the early weeks of the long baseball season, dominant.
So far this season, Mariano Rivera is a perfect nine for nine in save opportunities. On a team that many believed would struggle to just stay in contention, Rivera is providing the desperate late inning support the Yankees need. The Yankees are not putting out a lineup right now that can win games by easily out-scoring their opponents. This team needs it’s pitching staff to shut down the opposition.
In nine games, Rivera has pitched 10 innings, given up just nine hits and two earned runs. He has struck out 10 batters and walked just one.
Despite the years and innings that have been put on Rivera’s arm throughout his career, when ‘Enter Sandman’ starts playing at Yankee Stadium, you have a special feeling of confidence. Broken bats, soft contact, it’s all continued into this season. Rarely do we see a batter make solid contact against a Rivera cutter.
Only one Yankees pitcher has a WHIP (walks+hits, per innings pitched) lower than Rivera this season, and that is his potential replacement, David Robertson. Opponents on base percentage against Rivera is just .250.
One has to hope the Yankees can hang around enough until their stars get back. It would be a shame not to see Rivera pitch meaningful innings late in the season and make one last run at a World Series title. So far, it’s been vintage Rivera in 2013. Baseball fans all over the country should pay close attention. You are watching a legend.