Mood Music - Enter Sandman by Metallica (Rivera Tribute)
For the 602nd time, Mariano Rivera saved a regular season win for the New York Yankees, giving him the most in Major League history. With a typical 1-2-3 inning, Mo passed Padres legend Trevor Hoffman and further cemented his status as the greatest closer that the game has ever seen.
To me, what is so impressive about Rivera is the near perfection of his career. After moving to the bullpen in 1996, the worst season was likely 2007 when he posted a 3.15 ERA and 30 saves. He has posted an ERA below 2.00 nine times in his career, and with a 1.98 ERA in 2011, he's making a push for another. When you also consider the fact that Rivera pitched his entire career in a tough AL East and through a steroid-fueled high run environment, his body of work becomes truly transcendent.
Hopefully there are many more saves to come, because I don't think I'll ever get tired of watching him pitch.
Game notes after the jump.
- Good A.J. Burnett showed up for a little while, but then Awful A.J. took over. The Law Firm of Wade, Logan, Soriano, and Robertson handled the paperwork for innings 5-8.
- Curtis Granderson hit home run number 41 in the first inning on a long drive to right center. It might not be enough to earn him the MVP, but Granderson is having a simply remarkable season.
- Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano both reached base four times, Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez chipped in RBI singles, and Jesus Montero played some more wall ball in right center.
- The Red Sox dropped the first game of their double header with the Orioles, putting the Yankees in good playoff position and putting the Red Sox on the edge of disaster.