Trevor Hoffman Better Than Mariano Rivera?

Andrew GodfreyCorrespondent ISeptember 13, 2009

MILWAUKEE - MAY 14: Trevor Hoffman #51 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers the ball against the Florida Marlins on May 14, 2009 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Brewers defeated the Marlins 5-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Mariano Rivera may have 64 fewer lifetime saves than Trevor Hoffman, but he has been the better pitcher overall. Mo has a 0.77 ERA in postseason play while allowing only two home runs in 117 innings. He'll be a Hall of Famer.

Trevor Hoffman has posted 585 career saves, but he has a 57-68 lifetime record. On the other hand Mariano Rivera has 521, saves but has a 70-51 record.

Hoffman is 11 games under .500, while Rivera is 19 games over .500. Hoffman has blown 42 saves, while Rivera has blown 43. Hoffman has pitched in 68 more games than Rivera, but Rivera started 10 games in his first season while Hoffman never has started a game.

Hoffman has allowed the lower batting average, having allowed opponents to hit .209, while Rivera has a .211 average against him.

Rivera has posted 998 strikeouts in 1,081 innings while Hoffman has struck out 1,095 in 1,033 innings, more strikeouts than innings pitched. Rivera has allowed 59 home runs, while Hoffman has allowed 91 giving Rivera a huge edge even though Rivera pitched 58 more innings than Hoffman.

Their WHIP numbers are similar. Rivera leads with a 1.01 to the 1.05 posted by Hoffman. Rivera has a huge lead in lifetime ERA with a 2.26 mark, while Hoffman has a much higher 2.74.

When comparing the numbers of the two pitchers for this season, Rivera has a clear advantage with 39 saves in 40 opportunities while Hoffman has 31 saves in 34 tries.

Hoffman has a 1-2 record and a 2.00 ERA in 2009, while Rivera is 2-2 with a 1.72 ERA. Hitters are hitting .193 against Rivera, and .204 against Hoffman this season.

The better strikeout pitcher this season also has been Rivera with 64 in 57 innings while walking 10. Hoffman has struck out 40 in 45 innings and walked 11.

There is no doubt that both Hoffman and Rivera will be voted into the Hall of Fame someday. Hoffman may have 64 more career saves than Rivera, but overall Rivera has better stats than Hoffman.

Hoffman will be 42 in October, while Rivera will be 40 in November, so Rivera may post a higher save total than Hoffman by the time he retires.

Both pitchers have been great closers, but if it comes down to choosing one over the other to close out the seventh game of a World Series, Rivera would be the one to get the call. That is despite him getting the loss in the World Series ending loss to the Diamondbacks in 2001.

Hall of Fame voters will look at Rivera’s postseason numbers and note his 8-1 and 0.77 ERA in postseason play. The stat that stands out is Rivera giving up only two home runs in 117 innings of postseason play.

Sometime in the next seven or eight years we should see either Hoffman or Rivera or both inducted into  the Hall of  Fame depending on which one retires first.


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