Monday, August 31, 2009

The Best There Ever Was!

Mariano Rivera hasn't had a lot of chances to pitch recently. The Yankees have been winning their games by large scores. Today, Brian Bruney walked a guy and gave up a hit in the ninth inning, so Mariano got in and got us the last two outs.

Simple. Not one of his bigger, pressure-packed saves. Baltimore isn't Boston, for sure. But I just got to thinking as I watched him mow down two hitters:


I know that "closer" is a relatively new position in baseball, but he has no peer. Sure, Trevor Hoffman has more saves than Mariano (though that may change before Mo retires), but he has not played under New York pressure.

Ask 100 baseball experts who they would want on the mound if they needed 3 outs to win the Series. The Sandman would get 75 votes.

No one has ever walked to the mound in big games and produced like Mariano Rivera.

And while I'm at it, Andy Pettitte was amazing tonight. If Hairston snags the ground ball in the seventh, Andy goes into the eighth with a perfect game. Who knows what would have happened?

I followed the stats on ESPN Gameday. Andy was blowing 86 mile an hour fastballs by hitters. That is not a misprint. I'm not sure he topped 90 all day. High school pitchers throw harder and Baltimore was baffled.

Now, the good guys have a 6.5 game lead one game into another road trip, this one to Baltimore and Toronto. Boston heads out to Tampa and Chicago. Hopefully, their road woes will continue and the Yanks can hold or even increase their lead.

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