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Archive for August 11th, 2011

In an early morning post at Bronx Banter, I took a look at some of Mariano Rivera’s failures, and pointed out how they sometimes define his greatness even more than his long resume of success. The timing of the post was particularly relevant because in this afternoon’s 7-6 victory against the Angels, the future Hall of Famer had another blip that illustrates just how incredible his long career has been.

As much as we want to think that he’s about as close to the perfect closer as we have seen, he’s not perfect.” – Joe Girardi, quoted by AP, August 11, 2011

For a three-game stretch, I’ve never seen him get hit this way,” – Russell Branyan, quoted by AP, August 11, 2011

Like every manager, Joe Girardi has become a slave to the save, so, despite having a four-run lead, the Yankees had Rivera warming up while Cory Wade started the ninth inning. Almost as if part of a self-fulfilling prophecy, Wade allowed two of the first three batters to reach, which brought the tying run to the on-deck circle and Rivera into the game. Usually, Mariano quickly restores order in such situations, but this time, he added a little fuel to the fire. On his first pitch, a flat cutter that hung over the inside corner, Russell Branyan deposited a towering fly ball into the right field seats, drawing the Angels to within one, and Rivera to the brink of another blown save.

Mariano Rivera’s Only Stretch of Three Negative Outcomes

Date Opp Rslt Dec IP H R ER BB HR
8/21/1997 ANA W 4-3 BS 1 3 1 1 0 0
8/23/1997 SEA W 10-8 BW 2 4 1 1 4 1
8/29/1997 MON L 3-4 L 1 1 1 0 0 0

Note: BS=Blown Save; BW= Blown Save and Win; L= Loss
Source: Baseball-reference.com

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