Mariano hits annual snag


It seems like every year in August Mariano Rivera is unavailable for a few games due to some ailment or another. In the past it’s been little things, like a tight forearm or back spasms — one year, I remember, Mo hurt his back while sneezing. It sounds strange for a guy who keeps himself in such impeccable physical shape, but those seem to be the only bumps Mo hits for the season. Considering the injury rates of other closers, the Yanks should consider it a blessing.

We learned yesterday that Mo was unavailable due to a sore shoulder. “He was feeling a little cranky today,” said Girardi, though there was no indication of whether this related to Mo’s shoulder or his mood. We did see Mo snap at someone while warming up in the bullpen on Saturday, after Jeter’s home run, so who knows. Maybe Mo is actually cranky. Still, the more important part is the shoulder soreness.

This year’s malady is understandable. Not only did Mo not really have one last year, but he underwent off-season shoulder surgery. While he’s bounced back nicely this season, it’s natural for the shoulder to weaken a bit. It’s like pitchers who undergo Tommy John surgery having a dead arm period the year they come back. Combine the effects of off-season surgery with Mo’s propensity for minor spats later in the season, and it’s inevitable that he misses some time.

Even so, Girardi thinks Mo will be set to go if the Yanks have a lead to protect in Seattle tomorrow. All considered, perhaps the Yanks offense should rally behind their closer and give Mo a few more games off via a couple of blowouts. He saves them, so maybe it’s time for them to save him.

Categories : Pitching


  1. Danny says:

    LMAO this is amazing:

    nevahh heard of jason hirsh!!!1!

  2. I need a shirt that says “Mo saves”

  3. Drew says:

    Mo has something he needs to workout in his personal life. I’m not sure it’s appropriate for us to have this thread today.

    I don’t know what issues he’s having (aside from the sore shoulder), but it doesn’t sound great.

    My best goes out to Mo.

  4. whozat says:

    “All considered, perhaps the Yanks offense should rally behind their closer and give Mo a few more games off via a couple of blowouts. He saves them, so maybe it’s time for them to save him.”

    What they can’t do is let this turn into ARod and Jeter and Posada talking their way into the lineup instead of getting the rest they need, and thus playing at 70% for the rest of the year. Can they play Hinske at 3B and Pena at SS tomorrow?

  5. Moshe Mandel says:

    I actually did a post on this tonight. The numbers support the idea of an annual August swoon.

    “The numbers actually bear out this observation very clearly, as Mariano’s August ERA is indistinguishable from other months, but most of his peripherals are worse in August. Looking at his career splits, August is his worst month in terms of BAA, OBPA, SLGA, SO/BB, and WHIP. His tOPS+ for August is 116, meaning that his OPS against is 16% worse than usual in August.”

    self promoted’d

    • Salty Buggah says:

      He has allowed eight hits and three walks in his last 5.2 innings.

      This is a SSS but still, that’s too human-like (K-rod-esque I suppose) for Mo.

      And you’ve got a good point.

    • I was looking at this earlier today too but didn’t have a chance to write it up tonight. His tOPS+ follows an interesting curve. It starts out 107, dips to 95 and 87 before climbing back up to 99, peaking at 116 in August and then falling back to 95. He gets stronger, weaker and then stronger again.

      It’s also worth noting that even at its worse, his OPS against in his career on a month-by-month basis has never been higher than .602. Even at his worst, he’s still head and shoulders above everyone else.

      • Moshe Mandel says:

        Yeah, looking at those numbers today really made me appreciate how awesome he is. They are absurd. And it also seems pretty clear that the idea that he “struggles” a bit in April and August is not apocryphal.

  6. Clutchbrera says:

    wow, this is off topic, but go to the description under the last picture slide says that cano had his fourth walk off hit of this year today. unless i’m really missing something, that is absolute bull shit

  7. PinstripesForeverDougie says:

    I think the best route of giving Mo a rest is have our rotund Ace,
    CC, provide a dominating 8-9 innings. I just don’t believe this offense will be capable of blowing out the pitching enriched Mariners over the next couple of days. I hope we can pull out a series victory against this tough Mariners team. Although, I guess a spilt would suffice my hunger for victory!!

  8. Bo says:

    With a lead they should give him as much time as he needs. This is why they have depth in the pen. A few games where the offense makes quick work of a SP wouldnt hurt.

  9. King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

    I have a very easy one word answer for all of this crazy talk:

    Phil Hughes.

    Mo flies to Oakland Sunday to meet the team there Monday morning. Let him do wtf he wants for a few days. He wants to pitch? Fine. Stay home with momma? Fine. Go to a Mets game? Ok, not anything, but you get the idea.

  10. [...] As the Yankees head west in an effort to continue their run of amazing baseball, the team is dealing with a few consequential injuries. While Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are nursing HBP-induced bruises, Mariano Rivera is out with a cranky shoulder. [...]

  11. [...] side effect of the offensive explosion, as requested yesterday, is that it gives Mo another day off. He proclaimed himself fit to close today, but Girardi will [...]

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