Mariano Rivera has been through a lot of tough postseasons. His career stats over 133 innings are nothing short of amazing.
Somehow, at his advanced age, Mo tied his single postseason record with 16 innings pitched. He set a career high in games pitched with 12. He came in to the 8th inning 8 times, and with men on base five times. Rivera picked up the slack for a young bullpen that proved especially shakey in October.
Rivera’s velocity was dropping to the high 80s by the World Series. His control was a bit worse than usual, and he often had to throw more pitches.
How long can Rivera keep this up? He stated last night that he wanted to play five more years. I find that hard to fathom. Rivera’s cutter seems to be moving more at lower veloctity, but there is a point where he becomes hittable. But in the near term, I think that we can expect more of the same from Mo. His K/BB rates are actually better than in his prime years, and he still has the same fluid motion.
While fans will remember Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, an and the rest, I think that we’ve seen Mariano Rivera endeer himself to Yankee fans in a different way. He’ll likely be the first member of the 90s dynasty to enter the Hall of Fame, and will be a key symbol to that generation of fans.
Think of it this way: The Yankees got to Brian Fuentes, Joe Nathan, and Brad Lidge this October, but no one was able to beat Mariano Rivera.
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