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Friday, August 12, 2011

NY Times: The Struggles of [Mariano] Rivera Cast a Pall Over a Win

On a normal day, a late tie-breaking grand slam by Robinson Cano, another big home run from Curtis Granderson and a record-tying save by Mariano Rivera would leave Yankees fans with feelings of joy and satisfaction.

But this was no normal day, and although the Yankees came away with an important 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday thanks to a critical mistake by the Angels and Cano’s ability to capitalize, Rivera did nothing to allay fears about his recent slump.

Rivera encountered serious problems for a third consecutive outing. Trying to protect a four-run lead, Rivera surrendered a three-run homer to Russell Branyan on the first pitch he threw, turning what had appeared to be a comfortable victory into a narrow escape.

Rivera did get the final two outs for his 30th save of the year, tying Trevor Hoffman with 14 consecutive seasons of at least 30 saves, but the record and even the save felt hollow to him.

“I can’t care less about that stuff,” he said. “As long as I do my job, that’s what I want, and lately I haven’t done it. So, it won’t make me or break me. But games like this get me upset.”

NTNgod Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:05 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, game recaps, yankees

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   1. Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:24 AM (#3898484)
   2. jyjjy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:25 AM (#3898485)
This is just the week Mo has every season where he purposely pretends to be human and fallible to throw off suspicion. I for one am not fooled.
   3. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:37 AM (#3898490)
The article is silly, but I'm surprised that this hasn't happened more to Rivera over the years.
   4. King Berenger Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:46 AM (#3898494)
Every year people think that this is the year that Mo becomes mortal, and every year it isn't - but that year is going to come. I mean, it will, right? Maybe his cutter will still be effective at age 55 and at 84 mph.
   5. Shock Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:57 AM (#3898500)
Whats wrong with Mo week.
   6. Rally Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:18 AM (#3898508)
"Every year people think that this is the year that Mo becomes mortal, and every year it isn't - but that year is going to come. I mean, it will, right? Maybe his cutter will still be effective at age 55 and at 84 mph."

Maybe it will. But when he's 70 and barely throwing 70, he'll just be an average pitcher.
   7. Shock Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:27 AM (#3898511)
Every year people think that this is the year that Mo becomes mortal, and every year it isn't - but that year is going to come. I mean, it will, right? M


It came in 2007. And then it, uh, left again.
   8. cabintwelve Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:34 AM (#3898513)
   9. Repoz Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:53 AM (#3898517)
Chuck & Duck...Baseball Analytics

Overall, batters are hitting .263 in games in the second half of this season. His ERA is 3.48. As for the cutter, you can see it's "not getting there." Lefties are hitting .350 against it, righties .231. But there's more as Mark Simon of ESPN.com points out in his comprehensive look at Mariano,

"Rivera is not putting hitters away with two strikes as well as he usually does.....He's given up 16 hits in favorable two-strike counts (0-2, 1-2, 2-2) this season, nearly twice as many as he did in 2010 (9)."

Does this mean that Rivera is done? By no means.

His ERA this season is 2.23 and his career ERA is 2.23. His WHIP is still a sparkling 0.992.

But it does mean is that like the continental drift, Mariano's cutter is clearly moving, slowly but surely into the territory of mere mortals. And that is not the way we are accustomed to describing Mariano Rivera.
..
   10. smileyy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 05:04 AM (#3898520)
Sure, but what did Fay Vincent think about the article after the game?
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 05:39 AM (#3898533)
I'm amazed at .how rare a Mariano blow up is.

in that thread it comes out that in 1013 relief appearances he's allowed multiple extra base hits 17 times. Comparable (note:I didn't do this research, just stole it from that thread) great relievers.

Trevor Hoffman: 39 times in 1035 games.
Billy Wagner: 18 times in 853 games
Jon Papelbon: 14 times in 377 games.
Eric Gagne, 2002-04: 4 times in 224 games

Not really comparable because of their longer outings, but

Hoyt Wilhelm: 49 times in 1018 games.
Goose Gossage: 49 times in 965 games
   12. Srul Itza At Home Posted: August 12, 2011 at 06:27 AM (#3898542)
The article is silly, but I'm surprised that this hasn't happened more to Rivera over the years.


It happens with regularity -- What's Wrong With Mariano Week arrives, along with a bushel of pants-pissing articles, and then he goes back to normal.
   13. zack Posted: August 12, 2011 at 01:52 PM (#3898595)
I'm actually surprised this hasn't happened more often over the course of his career. You'd think a guy with essentially one pitch would lose the feel for it on occassion.
   14. Darren Posted: August 12, 2011 at 02:01 PM (#3898601)
What I take from #11 is that I should be more impressed with what great relievers Hoffman and Wagner were. (I already fear Mariano sufficiently.)

I admire the writers who are willing to write about Mariano's bad streaks and even consider the possibility that he's losing it. I mean, he will someday, and he's beyond an age when it's reasonable to consider it, but it must be daunting.
   15. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 12, 2011 at 02:16 PM (#3898607)
This is just a Skynet stunt, trying to pump up interest for their forthcoming Rivera version 2 model.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 02:21 PM (#3898609)
What I take from #11 is that I should be more impressed with what great relievers Hoffman and Wagner were. (I already fear Mariano sufficiently.)


To me Wagner seems like the forgotten elite. Every way I've looked at it, it seems that Rivera is clearly the best modern closer in history and that Wagner is the second best and there is a gap between them and the third best (which is Hoffman) that could make a good in/out line for hof. Of course there is a gap between Rivera and Wagner also, but surpisingly it's more about innings pitched than rate difference...and of course Rivera's consistency.

Another notch in Hoffmans belt is his inherited runners relative to the other great closers(among relievers with more than 200 saves, Hoffman has the best inherited runners prevented percentage--of course you have to adjust that for eras as he inherited a lot less than the closers of the past)
   17. Textbook Editor Posted: August 12, 2011 at 02:24 PM (#3898611)
Fun fact about Donn Pall: he was on the mound closing out this game--and in fact made the final PO at 1B on a 3-1 groundout:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PIT/PIT199309280.shtml

The win clinched the 1993 NL East for the Phillies. I've never bothered looking into this, but Donn Pall strikes me at one of the more unlikely non-catchers to ever hold the ball while making the final putout in a clinching game.
   18. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 12, 2011 at 02:31 PM (#3898616)
What I take from #11 is that I should be more impressed with what great relievers Hoffman and Wagner were.


Mo's pitched multiple innings in save situations more often than either of the other two, which makes what he's done even more impressive by comparison. Hoffman, in particular, was almost never used over the second half of his career to get more than three outs.

-- MWE
   19. Russ Posted: August 12, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3898619)
What I take from #11 is that I should be more impressed with what great relievers Hoffman and Wagner were. (I already fear Mariano sufficiently.)


Hoffman's rate of 2+ XBH appearances is about twice Rivera's rate (3.3 times every 100 appearances vs. 1.6 times every 100 appearances). Wagner's rate is about 30% higher (2.1), although obviously he had a lot fewer games than Hoffman or Rivera. And, to be fair, Rivera hasn't yet hit his end-of-career performance dip yet, so his rate may rise above Wagner's and Hoffman's.

So Wagner and Hoffman look really impressive, but all this tells me is that Mariano Rivera is the best reliever that I have ever seen and probably the best reliever that my 63 year old father has ever seen.
   20. DL from MN Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#3898643)
I think I have the only ball autographed by both Don Pall AND Curt Wardle. Man I was unlucky getting autographs as a kid.
   21. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:19 PM (#3898648)
I think I have the only ball autographed by both Don Pall AND Curt Wardle.


Which makes it worth, what, about 50 cents or so?

-- MWE

PS DL, you going to be around when SABR comes to Minneapolis next summer?
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:32 PM (#3898657)
Mo's pitched multiple innings in save situations more often than either of the other two, which makes what he's done even more impressive by comparison. Hoffman, in particular, was almost never used over the second half of his career to get more than three outs.


You ain't kidding. Mo 116 times, hoffman 55 times, Wagner 36 times-----for the fun of it Gossage 193(note these are successful saves over one inning pitched) Sutter 188, and even Eckersley got 106

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