Mariano Rivera is a pretty special pitcher. I know, it’s a pretty revelatory statement.
First, I direct your attention to this pretty neat interactive graphic from the New York Times.
My description won’t do it justice, but the graphic details every
single batter of Rivera’s postseason career. Yes, even Mike Piazza’s
flyout to end Game 5 of the 2000 World Series. A sad reminder for this
Mets fan, but pretty darn cool otherwise.
Rivera has a ridiculous 0.74 ERA and
0.77 WHIP in 88 postseason games, including an 0.56 ERA over 16 innings
during the 2009 playoffs. It’s even more incredible upon learning that he pitched through a painful rib cage injury during the World Series.
“It doesn’t matter now,” Rivera said. “It’s over. Thank God it’s over.
It was manageable. ‘Geno’ did a tremendous job. Thank God we were able
to do what we did, to put me on the field every day so I would have a
Those who watched the World Series
will remember Rivera with some sort of heating pad under his jacket in
the bullpen, but any concern of an injury was dismissed by the team, as
he proved quite durable, tossing 5 1/3 innings over four appearances
Rivera turns 40 later this month and has one year and $15 million remaining on his contract. He has already expressed a desire to pitch for five more seasons. With results like these, who are we to say he can’t pull it off?
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.