Wednesday, September 28, 2011
603 saves impressive but irrelevant in measuring Rivera's impact-A Red Sox fan
"In many occasions throughout his career, Rivera was called upon to record two-inning outs at a time when the game was on the line."...
9/27/11, "A Red Sox fan’s appreciation for Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera," Yahoo Sports, Scott Duhaime
"While 603 saves is an impressive statistic, the 12-time All-Star has proved for years that he not only is the best closer in the game, but one of the most dependable pitchers of all time. In an era where the sport is dominated by lofty and inflated statistics, whether Rivera reached the milestone record is irrelevant
- in measuring his impact on the Yankees and baseball in general.
Rivera also ranks as the all-time leader in games finished (882) and save conversion rate (89 percent). In spite of his advancing baseball age, the ageless closer has maintained relative health throughout his career, this season marking the ninth straight year that Rivera has made over 60 appearances in a season while also maintaining a consistent strikeout ratio throughout his career. One measure of pride for Boston fans is that Rivera has struggled with the Red Sox, blowing 14 of his 68 career save opportunities. One of the remarkable facts about Rivera is that he accomplished such consistent performance with only one pitch: the cut fastball.
While the regular-season accomplishments of Rivera warrant first-ballot Hall-of-Fame status, it is his postseason performance that puts him in the elite class of pitchers of all time. In 17 seasons of play, Rivera has made the playoffs 15 times. In 94 games of playoff action, Rivera has amassed 42 saves and a microscopic 0.71 earned run average. Of the 523 batters faced in the playoffs, Rivera has surrendered 86 hits while walking just 21. In many occasions throughout his career, Rivera was
- called upon to record two-inning outs at a time when the game was on the line."...