Friday, September 16, 2011


Rivera ERA age 38-present, 1.74. K/BB in 2011, 8-1. In 8 All Star IP, no BB and no earned runs-Lopresti

9/16/11, "Mariano Rivera defines position of closer," USA Today, Mike Lopresti

"With the possible exception of Colonel Sanders and fried chicken, is there another face more synonymous with a product than Mariano Rivera?...

He didn't get as much attention this past week with his 600th save as Chad Ochocinco

But the statistics are loud enough. So never mind the champagne shower to mark the occasion, we come to pour Mariano facts and figures.

Twenty-five of 'em, through the close of business Thursday (9/15/11), with the help of Elias Sports Bureau. A Hall of Fame legacy painted by the numbers:

2.22 — Career ERA, second lowest in history for a pitcher with more than 1,000 innings, since the earned-run average became an official statistic in 1913. No. 1, by the way, is Eddie Cicotte, who was one of the Black Sox. And No. 4 is Babe Ruth.

1.74 — Rivera's earned-run averagesince he turned 38 years old. He's also converted 157 of 170 save chances.

2 — Postseason home runs he has allowed in 94 appearances, facing more than 500 batters.

1 — Pitch types he's needed to be often unhittable and absolutely unforgettable. The cut fastball. Batters know it's coming nearly 90% of the time and still can rarely do anything with it. You wonder why the Yankee catchers even bother to hide their signals. They might as well just hold up one finger.

7 — Complete games he threw as a minor league starter.

70-3 — The Yankees' extraordinary record in 1996 when leading after six innings. A key reason was Rivera's insertion as the set-up man for closer John Wetteland.

3 — Blown saves Rivera had in his first six chances in 1997, when the Yankees made him the closer.

89.3 — Career conversion rate in saves.

8-1 — Postseason record. The lone defeat was a whopper; Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against Arizona. In that ninth inning, he also had his only postseason error, throwing badly on a Diamondbacks' sacrifice bunt attempt.

0.71 — Postseason career ERA.

42 — Rivera's uniform number. He was already No. 42 when Major League Baseball retired the number throughout the game in honor of Jackie Robinson, so he is the only active player still wearing it.

42 — Rivera's postseason saves. He has blown four in the past 13 years. Two came back-to-back against Boston in 2004.

40-40 Club — Rivera is the only pitcher to ever save 40 games past the age of 40.

10 — Seasons with an ERA below 2.00.

6 — Seasons that opponents have hit less than .200 against him. Only twice in the past 14 years has it been higher than .225.

5 — Hits he's allowed in eight All-Star innings. Also no earned runs

1,037 Regular season appearances. In all those games, he's thrown 13 wild pitches, been called for three balks and committed six errors."...

"5.51 — Rivera's earned-run average in 1995, when he was a part-time starting pitcher.

11 — Home runs he allowed in 1995.

54 — Home runs he's allowed in the 16 seasons since.

0 — Hits he's gotten in six career at-bats, season and postseason.

4-1 — Career strikeout-to-walk ratio.

8-1 — Strikeout-to-walk ratio this season

19 — Age in which he had to escape a sinking fishing boat in his native Panama, which convinced him maybe another occupation would be nice.

1992 — Year in which he was coming off elbow surgery in the minor leagues and the Yankees left him unprotected in the expansion draft. He could have been a Colorado Rockie or Florida Marlin.

Imagine how life in the Bronx

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