On May 17, 1996, Mariano Rivera recorded his first career save. On September 14, 2011, Mariano Rivera became the second member of the 600 saves club, joining Trevor Hoffman in tonight’s 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Robinson Cano reached a career-high in runs batted in for a season tonight with two more to bring his total to 11. He drove in the first run with a solo home run off of Charlie Furbush. He also drove in the game-winning run in the 6th inning on a fielder’s choice.
A.J. Burnett was the starting pitcher for tonight’s game and looked to be struggling in the beginning. He appeared to be in pain as he struggled through the first 3 innings when he gave up 2 runs. However, after the 3rd innning, Burnett appeared to be a completely different person as he struck out a season-high 11 over 6 innings with just the 2 runs early in the game. He adjusted and came out with more conviction. Rafael Soriano had a perfect 7th inning and David Robertson struck out 3 to escape a big jam in the 8th inning and handed the ball to one of the greatest of all-time, Mariano Rivera.
Mariano Rivera took the mound and struck out the first batter he faced, Wily Mo Pena. The next batter was Ichiro Suzuki and like he has done most of his career, he got another hit to put the tying run at first base. Unphased, Mariano Rivera continued to be dominant as he struck out rookie Kyle Seager. The tying run, Ichiro Suzuki would end up making the final out as he attempted a steal and was thrown out at 2nd base from Russell Martin to Derek Jeter.
Mariano Rivera is the best closer in MLB history. He has relied on one pitch, the cutter, and has thrown it with so much efficiency that hitters almost always know it is the pitch they will see and they still cannot hit it. He doesn’t let the rare bad outings phase him and composes himself with tremendous poise. He joins Trevor Hoffman as the only MLB pitchers to have 600 saves. His next save will tie him with Hoffman and the one after will put him as the sole possessor of the all-time saves record. But Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman are far from equals. Mariano Rivera has been a dominant closer that has always been a very humble person. He is a definite Hall of Fame entry, not just for his 600+ saves in his career but for his dominant postseason statistics (42 saves, 0.71 ERA).