On the same night Tim Wakefield got his 200th win, Mariano Rivera got his 600th save. As Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe observed last night, I guess that’s evidence that having a second pitch is overrated.
It was a usual night’s work for Rivera. A one run lead, an overmatched offense, and — while it wasn’t a 1-2-3- inning thanks to an Ichiro single — he was erased while trying to steal to end the game. You don’t get the sense that Rivera sweated it.
As we said the other day, the 600th save is a nice round number — and it means that he’s only two away from holding the all-time saves record himself — but it’s not that big a deal when it comes to Rivera. His greatness was cemented several hundred saves ago. His status as the best closer in baseball history questioned only by those with a rooting interest that blinds them or a jones to argue any point just for its own sake.
I’m actually one of the latter types, but even this is a point I can’t argue. Mariano Rivera is the best there ever was. And now he’s the second member of the 600 save club.