Sunday morning Mariano musings


On Saturday night, Jesus was the story. On Sunday morning, let’s look at Mariano.

The August 13 game in 2007 against the Orioles was, on its surface, nothing remarkable. The Yankees beat the Orioles 7-6 on a walk-off fielder’s choice in the bottom of the 9th. Earlier in the game, neither Jeremy Guthrie nor Chien-Ming Wang had their best stuff, and the game was left to the bullpens.

What is remarkable about the game, though, was the top of the 9th. In that inning, Mariano Rivera allowed three hits and a run as the Orioles overcame a one-run deficit to tie the game. It would be Mariano Rivera’s only blown save at Yankee Stadium that season, and in fact, it was his last blown save at Yankee Stadium. It is also his only blown save at home since August 13, 2005 when he let one go against the Rangers in a game the Yanks would win in 11 innings.

Think about that for a second. Mariano Rivera has blown just one save at home since August 13, 2005. That’s a remarkable achievement. Nearly four years at home, one blown save.

Since his disastrous appearance while sick against Tampa in a non-save situation in June, Mariano has been as good as any pitcher could be. He has saved 13 games since then, throwing 15.2 innings and allowing five hits, one run and one walk while striking out 16. That’s a 0.57 ERA.

One day, Mo will blow a save. One day, Mo will lose a game. One day, Mo may even decide to call it a career. Right now, though, he’s showing no signs of slowing down, and he’s still the guy anyone wants out there in the ninth inning of a close game. That, my friends, is Mariano Rivera.

Categories : Musings
  • Senor A. Boy

    Great opening.

  • steve (different one)

    i was at that game. they may have lost except Melky made a ridiculous throw to nail a guy at the plate in the 9th.

  • Zach

    ‘Mariano Rivera has blown just one save at home since August 13, 2005.’

    That’s unreal, and somehow it’s never mentioned. I know there’s a lot to talk about with Mariano, but that fact never gets put out there.

  • steve (different one)

    i think the lesson here is that Mariano shouldn’t pitch on August 13th.

  • Jake H

    This guy is just incredible. I don’t think we will fully appreciate how great he is until we have to live with another closer once he retires.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    “Think about that for a second. Mariano Rivera has blown just one save at home since August 13, 2005. That’s a remarkable achievement. Nearly four years at home, one blown save.”

    I’m not sure that’s accurate, since he blew a few games at home facing Tampa earlier this year. I’ll assume that ‘Blown Saves’ doesn’t include losses.

    Here’s one of them


    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      Here’s the other, the really bad one when he gave up 4 runs and Coke had to take over for him.


      • Zach

        neither of those are ‘blown saves’

        the first one was a 6-6 tie game in the top of the 9th
        the second one was a 5-5 tie game in the top of the 9th

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          Second game was 7-5 Yanks heading into the 9th. They were home, the 2 runs they scored were after Mo gave up 4 in the top of the inning.

          This could come down to some arcane Baseball rulebook stuff. An inning isn’t considered to be an inning until the bottom of the inning is completed, so if the Yanks scored 2 in the bottom of the inning, it may not be considered a blown save at that point, but I’m just guessing.

          • Fabio

            No, it was 5-5 heading into the 9th. it ended 9-7 after the Yankees scored 2 in the bottom of the 9th. Can´t get a save or blow one if you enter the game with a tied score

    • steve (different one)

      right, neither of those games were save situations.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        Right, the May 7th game wasn’t. But the June 6th game was, it was 7-5 Yanks heading into the 9th.

        • Zach

          look at the box score, Yankees scored 2 runs in bottom of 9th

          It was 5-5 going into the 9th inning

          • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

            Duh, you’re right. My bad.

            • Zach

              No problem, I get what your point was though. Although only 1 BS, he’s less-Mariano-like in tie games, that being said I still want him out there in a tie ball game in the top of the 9th

        • steve (different one)

          see above, it was 5-5. the yanks scored 2 in the bottom of the ninth.

          overall, you have a very good point. that just saying “he hasn’t blown a save” overlooks some games he pitched poorly and cost the team the game, but technically speaking, the statement is still true.

          • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

            Gotcha. I screwed up those line scores, but just off the top of my head I know he blew a few games this year. But they were tie games at home, which has been something of an issue for him in recent years.

        • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

          No, it was 5-5 heading into the ninth because Tampa scored four runs in their half-inning and the Yanks scored two runs in theirs, making the final score 9-7.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    BTW-How could Blown Saves NOT include losses? Something doesn’t add up here.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      “A blown save (abbreviated BS or B) is charged to a pitcher who enters a game in a situation which permits him to earn a save (a save situation or save opportunity), but who instead allows the tying run to score. Note that if the tying run was scored by a runner who was already on base when the new pitcher entered the game, that new pitcher will be charged with a blown save even though the run will not be charged to the new pitcher, but rather to the pitcher who allowed that runner to reach base.

      If that same pitcher also allows the go-ahead run to reach base and score, and if his team does not come back to tie or gain a lead in the game, said pitcher will be charged with both the loss (as in any other similar situation) and a blown save.”


      Something doesn’t add up here.

      • Zach

        Not sure if this is what you’re asking, but blown saves and losses are independent of one another.

        A closer can have 20 blown saves, but have a 20W-0L record.

      • steve (different one)

        not sure what you mean.

        a “save” involves entering the game with a lead. period.

        otherwise, if you hold the tie and your team scores, you get the win. you can’t get both a win and a save, even though you can get a blown save and a loss.

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          Yeah, the ones he blew were tie games at home. That was what caused the confusion.

          In any case, the above contention that he “hasn’t blown a save at home” (while true) is still misleading. He’s outright lost games at home when coming into tie games, and had two just this year.

          • steve (different one)


      • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

        Heh, someone’s having an off morning.

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          Hey, cut me some slack. I was out partying all night with A-Rod and Kate Hudson.

  • gc

    Amazing stuff, Benjamin. And Rivera is indeed beyond brilliant, a true one of a kind talent.

    Now imagine if he converted those saves against Arizona in 2001 game 7 and against Boston in 2004 game 4. Scary! They might have already inducted him in the Hall of Fame! :)