Mariano Rivera Show's Why He's Still The Best
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera almost had flashbacks of 2001 when he lost the World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks. In that game, it all started with a bloop single.
Last night, a tenth inning rally by the Diamondbacks started the same way. After centerfielder Curtis Granderson gave the Yankees a 6-5 lead with a solo home run in the top half of the tenth, Rivera came out to work his second inning of the night.
Arizona shortstop Stephen Drew started the bottom half with a broken bat single off Rivera. Justin Upton then drilled a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third. Rivera intentionally walked the next batter to load the bases with nobody out.
There are not many pitchers that can get out of a bases loaded, no out jam and make it look easy. Rivera did just that, once again proving he is the greatest closer of all time. Mainly using his famous cutter, Rivera made quick work of the next three batters.
The Yankees closer got Chris Young to foul out behind the plate for the first out. With the first out taken care of, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was feeling confident in getting out of the jam.
“There isn’t a human on the planet who can get out of that jam like Mo,” Rodriguez said. “Once he gets one out, then you’re like, ‘Well, now a double play gets us out of it.’ I thought the biggest out was the first one.”
Rivera did not get a game ending double play but he did get the next batter, Adam LaRoche, to hit a weak pop up to third for the second out.
When Rivera needs an out, he goes to his cutter. Everyone in the park knows what’s coming. The hitter generally knows what Rivera is about to throw. That doesn’t mean they can hit it.
Rivera got Mark Reynolds to swing and miss at a 93-mph cutter to end the game and give the Yankees a 6-5 victory.
This type of performance is what has made the legacy that is Mariano Rivera. The greatest closer in baseball history continues to impress his teammates as well as the opposition.
“That’s why he’s the best ever,” said D-backs manager A.J. Hinch. “He’s the best ever at his craft. You try to scratch and claw one [run] any way you can. If you get greedy and get two, we’re celebrating.”
The win gave the Yankees a series victory over the Diamondbacks and allowed them to add to their lead atop the American League East as both the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox lost.
The Yankees had 10 hits in the 6-5 win. Five of those hits came between Granderson and Brett Gardner. Rivera got the win, his first of the season.