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2013 MLB All-Star Game: Mariano Rivera looks for a complete game

With a flawless ERA, it turns out he's even better in fanciful exhibitions.

My, what a hideous uniform you have.
My, what a hideous uniform you have.

I had wondered before the 2013 season if I would eventually get tired of all the articles and homages that would be devoted to Mariano Rivera during his "Magical Mystery Farewell Tour". At some point, even as amazing as Mo's career has been, I would be overwhelmed with nostalgia to the point of nausea.

Well, it turns out I haven't been able to get enough of it all, so I figured I would bombard the Yankees faithful with one piece more relevant to the proceedings at Citi Field tonight. It just so happens that Rivera is one scoreless inning away from working the equivalent of a nine-inning complete game with zero earned runs allowed through his cumulative efforts in his All-Star appearances. The only factor separating him from a complete shutout was an unearned run in the 2000 All-Star Game that can be mostly blamed on a horrible throw by Nomar Garciaparra. But the impressive numbers do not stop there.

Already the all-time All-Star leader in saves with four, Rivera can pass Johnny Vander Meer for second all-time in All-Star Game innings without an earned run, trailing only Mel Harder's 13 scoreless innings. And unless Jim Leyland wants Mo's arm to fly off into the front row, second place is the best he could hope for in that respect.

Not surprisingly, considering his world-class control, Rivera has also never walked a batter in his eight innings of pitching. That is the second most all-time, next to Roy Halladay and his 8 2/3 innings without a walk and just ahead of Steve Rogers' seven innings (insert Captain America joke here). And Rivera is fifth all-time with a WHIP of 0.625, which I assume is above zero only because of crummy bloop hits resulting from broken bats.

So while the All-Star Game is a pointless exhibition only given even a modicum of meaning by the machinations of a deranged commissioner, it is yet another opportunity to marvel at how much better Mariano Rivera has been than everyone else. Even the best of the best tend to fall short in comparison.

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