Mariano Rivera hadn’t pitched in a week, so manager Joe Girardi used him in a non-save situation this afternoon to close out a 7-3 victory over the Blue Jays, and the appearance was the 1,000th of Rivera’s amazing career.
He becomes the 15th pitcher in baseball history with at least 1,000 appearances (the first to do it with one team) and, not surprisingly, Rivera’s adjusted ERA+ is the best of the bunch by a huge margin:
APP ERA+ MARIANO RIVERA 1000 205 Hoyt Wilhelm 1070 147 Trevor Hoffman 1035 141 John Franco 1119 138 Kent Tekulve 1050 132 Lee Smith 1022 132 Roberto Hernandez 1010 132 Goose Gossage 1002 126 Jesse Orosco 1252 126 Mike Jackson 1005 126 Mike Timlin 1058 125 Dan Plesac 1064 118 Dennis Eckersley 1071 116 Mike Stanton 1178 113 Jose Mesa 1022 101
Jesse Orosco is the all-time leader with 1,252 appearances and Jose Mesa has the honor of being the worst pitcher to ever appear in 1,000 games, by virtue of his career adjusted ERA+ barely being above the average mark of 100. And just to put Rivera’s dominance in perspective, consider that the difference between his ERA+ (205) and second-ranked Hoyt Wilhelm’s ERA+ (147) is bigger than the difference between Wilhelm (147) and Mesa (101).