Thursday, October 03, 2013


Rivera regular season WHIP is 1.0003, postseason WHIP is .759 in 141IP

10/3/13, "Postscript on Rivera, Almost the 1.0000 and Only," NY Times Bats blog, by Jay Schreiber

"In the end, Mariano Rivera pitched 1,283.2 innings and gave up 1,284 hits and walks combined. In other words, if Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte had not gone out to the mound last week so they could dramatically remove Rivera from his final game as a Yankee, the greatest reliever in the history of baseball might have finished with an immaculate WHIP measurement of 1.0000.

Pettitte and Jeter showed up on the mound with one out to go in the top of the ninth last Thursday, precipitating a moving scene in which Rivera wept on Pettitte’s shoulder while the Yankee Stadium crowd roared. Then Rivera departed, with the little-known Yankee Matt Daley recording the final out by striking out Ben Zobrist.

In other circumstances that would have been Rivera’s out, and he would have finished his career with a WHIP as sublime as his cutter. As it was, his WHIP — walks and hits divided by innings pitched — came out to 1.0003, which, in the record books, will often be rounded to 1.000 anyway. But 1.0000, of course, is just a little bit better.

Not surprisingly, Rivera’s numbers put him near the top of the career WHIP list of pitchers, dating to the 1800s, who pitched at least 1,000 innings in the major leagues. At the top of the list, according to, is Addie Joss (1902-10), with a WHIP of 0.968, and Ed Walsh (1904-17), whose WHIP of .9996 just edges Rivera’s....

WHIP is a relative newcomer to baseball statistics, having been conceived in 1979 by the writer and editor Daniel Okrent. It has increasingly become a standard measurement in discussing the effectiveness of various pitchers, and might be best equated to a hitter’s on-base percentage.

But not everyone knows what WHIP is, including Rivera. Joshua Prager, who wrote an article about Rivera and his astounding WHIP numbers in The New York Times in June, said that the pitcher was not familiar with WHIP when asked about it and that he was mindful of only runs, not runners.
“I just attack the hitters,’’ he told Prager. “I got to get three outs.’’

Of course, other measurements besides WHIP, and his record number of saves, speak to Rivera’s greatness. His career earned run average is 2.21. His postseason E.R.A. is an impossible-to-believe 0.70 over 141 innings. In 96 postseason games he gave up exactly two home runs.

And, for that matter, his postseason WHIP is 0.759. In other words, over 19 seasons, no one did it better. Too bad there wasn’t one more out along the way."


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