Mariano Rivera doesn’t need the all-time saves record to tell us that he’s the greatest relief pitcher of all-time, but he’ll soon be sitting on top of the mountain.
Rivera earned his 601st save this afternoon in a 7-6 win over the Blue Jays, tying him with Trevor Hoffman for the all-time saves record. The 41-year-old right-hander retired the side in order, throwing just 15 pitches and striking out one. In other words, not much different than what we’ve seen over the past 16 years.
The Yankees actually trailed early on after Bartolo Colon gave up six runs over four innings, but they fought back thanks to a three-run homer by Alex Rodriguez in the top of the sixth and a go-ahead two-run blast by Curtis Granderson in the seventh. Granderson went 3-for-3 with three runs scored on the afternoon. He now has 40 home runs on the season, trailing only Jose Bautista, and ranks first in the American League with 113 RBI and 131 runs scored.
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.