Mariano Rivera: The Greatest Closer Ever

New York Yankee fan or not, you have to respect Mariano Rivera.  On a beautiful September day, Rivera set the all-time saves record by notching number 602.  It’s been a special year to be a Yankee fan; Derek Jeter joined the 3000 hit club, and Rivera broke the saves record.  Here’s a few stats that help bolster Rivera’s case as the greatest (not that you’ll find anyone who disagrees):

1) Rivera’s WHIP: 1.00. Rounded. If you head far enough right of the decimal points, it’s actually 0.9983.  Up to this point, he’s pitched 1209 innings and allowed 1207 baserunners. Amazing.  Only Addie Joss (0.97) who last pitched in 1910 and Ed Walsh (0.9996) who last pitched in 1917 have a lower career WHIP (at least 1000 innings pitched). Also, Rivera is headed for his 8th season of a WHIP under 1.00.  Billy Wagner also had 8.  Only Walter Johnson had moar (9).

2) In 10 of Rivera’s 17 seasons, he’s had an ERA of under 2.00.  Wagner and Hoyt Wilhelm are the closest relievers with 6 seasons each.  Only Johnson has moar seasons of an ERA under 2.00 (11).

3) Postseason dominance.  Rivera has made 15 trips to the postseason and pitched 139.2 innings.  His slash line of 176/.213/.229 is absolutely ridiculous.  He also has the lowest ERA (0.71) and WHIP (0.77) to go along with 42 saves.

4) Rivera’s Adjusted ERA-Plus: 205.  The only active pitcher to have ONE season of an Adjusted ERA-Plus of 205 was Zack Greinke during his magical 2009 Cy Young year.  Joe Nathan has had TWO. Johnathan Papelbon has had THREE. The next best career Adjusted ERA-Plus? Pedro Martinez’s 154.

5) This isn’t a stat, but think about it for one moment: Rivera has done all this with ONE pitch.  The cutter.  Everyone knows what’s coming, but no one can figure it out, even to this day. Check out the videos below to see why his cutter is so damn good.

And last but not least, here’s the best tribute to Mo I’ve seen on YouTube. Awesome stuff.  The part at 19 seconds made my spine tingle.

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  1. Obligatory "Aw yeah Yankees" comment. =) It has been a special year to be a fan indeed

  2. Pingback: Mariano Rivera Out, David Robertson, You’re Up | Moar Powah!

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