Mariano hits annual snag

Clean sweep
The case for, and against, Vicente Padilla

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.

Clean sweep
The case for, and against, Vicente Padilla
  • Danny
  • Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    I need a shirt that says “Mo saves”

  • Drew

    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.

    • andrew

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this thread…

    • Benjamin Kabak

      His personal life? What makes you say that?

      • Benjamin Kabak

        All I see is this vague article about how he will meet up with the team on Thursday. Most of the coverage was about his cranky right shoulder. We’ll have to keep an eye on this.

  • whozat

    “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?

    • Dela G

      that’s probably what will happen

      • whozat

        Which, letting vets who need a day off talk their way out of a day off? Or playing Hinske/Hairston and Pena tomorrow?

        • Dela G

          playing the bench players

          I wouldnt even think of letting alex and DJ play tomorrow if i was Joe G

  • Moshe Mandel

    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

      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.

      • Dela G

        He’s been squeezed on at least 2 of the 3

        i swear the ones to Ortiz and during the chi-town series were BS

        • Salty Buggah


      • JGS

        3 walks in 5.2 innings after just 10 walks in his previous 118

        • PinstripesForeverDougie

          Wait, 3 Walks in 5.2 innings after just 10 in his

          previous 118!?!? He is clearly finished because he’s

          never done this before. Case closed.


    • Benjamin Kabak

      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

        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.

  • Clutchbrera

    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

    • Tom Zig

      open thread…learn it…love it…use it

      • Doug

        embrace it… become it… believe it… dream it… achieve it…

  • PinstripesForeverDougie

    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!!

    • http://Youcan'tincreaseyourrange TLVP

      YES CC to the 8th! And 9th!

    • jsbrendog

      ;pitching enriched mariners?

      king felix aaaaaaand……king felix aaaaaaaand…bedard? meh…then….? luke french? naaaaah

      • jsbrendog

        Oh, and the Yankees are missing King Felix. He pitched tonight (last night).

        • jsbrendog

          and the guy pitching tonight, snell, walked 6 (SIX GUYS) in an inning and a third his last start…

          let that sink in. he got 4 outs. and walked 6 guys.

  • Bo

    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.

    • Klemy

      For a couple days we have the luxary of a deep bullpen. Let Hughes pitch the 9th for a couple days while Mo rests up.

    • Klemy

      So, yeah, I agree with the post above.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    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.

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