2006: Mariano Rivera shut down for most of September after experiencing elbow problems.
Spring training, 2007: Joe Torre says he’d prefer not to bring Rivera in to a game before the 9th inning to protect the 37-year-old reliever’s arm.
Rivera’s game logs since last Sunday:
August 12: 1.1 IP, 3H, 1R 1R 30 pitches. (For the ninth time this season, Mariano is asked to record more than 3 outs. He’s brought in in eighth with the Yankees on top by a score of 5-2, 2 out, and runners on first and second. He hits Ryan Garko with a pitch to load the bases before getting a force out to escape the inning. He starts the 9th with a 3 run lead and allows to singles and a double before recording a single out.)
August 13: Blown Save, 1.0 IP, 3H, 1R, 1R, 19 pitches. Gave up three singles in the 9th to allow the O’s to tie the game; Melvin Mora thrown out at plate to help snuff Baltimore’s rally.)
August 15: Blown Save*, Loss, 1.0, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 1HR, 27 pitches. (Brought in in a tie game in the tenth at home; gave up two doubles to start the inning and a home run on the fourth batter of the inning. Fourth HR of the season; he hasn’t topped 3 since 2001.)
You want more? OK: Taking out his rookie year, Mo’s opponent’s batting average, OBP, SLG, and OPS — all of which remain impressive — are the highest of his career’s. They’re also higher than Beckett’s, Okajima’s, and Papelbon’s. Even Manny D. has better numbers in everything except OPB, where Mo edges him, .290 to .294. His ERA stands at 3.46; it hasn’t been above 2.00 at season’s end since 2002. Since 2002, the latest in the season his ERA has topped 3.00 was August 11, 2002.
Now, I know I’ve been harping on Joe Torre’s bullpen use all season. But I’ve had good reason. (All of this raises a question: why aren’t we reading any of this info in our daily sports sections? Just wondering.)
* Brain fart: since Mo came in in a tie game, he took the loss, but that’s obviously not a blown save.
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