Mariano Rivera: No Panic Needed Over Consecutive Blown Saves
While you never want to see your closer blow any save, let alone consecutive ones, just remember he saved seven in a row to start the season.
Yes, Mariano is 41 years old, so anytime he doesn't look like the greatest closer in baseball history people will panic. So far on this young season, Mo's pitched in 10.2 innings and has given up 10 hits, two walks and has nine strikeouts. His WHIP is 1.12 and he's only allowed three runs total (based on his Baseball-Reference player page, not sure if it is updated this morning for yesterday's game).
Yesterday was the first time Mo had pitched in five days. From what I remember, he always seems to do better the more frequently he pitches. When the Yankees are winning game after game in blowouts, they have to remember to get him in there to pitch every two or three days, even in non-save situations.
Every year, Yankees fans and baseball fans alike wonder if this is the year Mo finally shows his age. Every year he shows he still has it and makes it seem like he can pitch for another five years.
Baseball is 162 games and the regular season runs from March through September. As a Yankee fan, I would be more concerned with Mo blowing saves in September more so than in April, and as Marchand points out in his article, Mo's never blown consecutive saves in September.
Should Yankees fans be concerned about Rivera?
So relax, Yankee fans. Mariano is still the best closer the game's ever seen and his cutter is still one of the best pitches in baseball history. As long as hitters continue to break bats against his cutter and Enter Sandman blares when he enters a game, all is well in Yankee land.
There will be a day when Mo's age finally does show, but my gut tells me it's not today or this year or even next year. I still believe Mo will be Mo through next season. After that, only time will tell.
Rich is a MLB and New York Yankees Featured Columnist for the Bleacher Report. He also has his own blog, Rich Stowe's Diamond Thoughts. You can follow Rich on Facebook or Twitter or email him any questions or comments you may have.
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