Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mariano Rivera: Noble Six Hundred

Yankees 3, Mariners 2. The pitcher we really should talk about is A.J. Burnett (10-11), who put up a "Good A.J." performance: 6 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 2 walks, and 11 strikeouts, in outpitching Charlie Furbush (3-9). I don't know if this was enough to save A.J.'s place in the rotation, but it was a very solid outing.

Robinson Cano hit a home run in the 2nd inning, his 26th of the season, and he followed up hits by Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira with a groundout that scored Swish with the winning run in the top of the 6th.

But neither A.J. nor Robbie is who anybody is talking about today. That would be Mariano Rivera, who picked up his 41st save of the season -- the 600th of his career.

This puts him right behind all-time leader Trevor Hoffman. One more, and Mariano ties the record. One more after that, and Mo breaks it, and becomes the new all-time saves leader.

When he gets it, I'll have to do a "Top 10 Mariano Rivera Moments" list, as I've already done for Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada. I should do them for other Yankee greats as well; the off-season should provide enough time for that, especially since, unlike a lot of sports fans, I won't be obsessed with the National Fascist League.

(Although, to be fair, the NFL did, ever so slightly, "relax" their uniform restrictions on September 11, unlike Major League Baseball, which wouldn't let the Mets wear special NYPD, FDNY, or Port Authority Police caps, the way they and the Yankees did after the 9/11 attacks. Then again, it says something about the Mets' financial woes that they didn't simply say, "Fuck you, Bud Selig, this is more important than a $100,000 (or whatever it would have been) fine.")

So Mariano gets the milestone. Tonight, he can tie the record, as the Yankees conclude their series in Seattle, with Ivan Nova starting against Jason Vargas. Tomorrow is a travel day, and then on Friday night the Yankees start a 3-gamer in Toronto against those Pesky Blue Jays.

That's 4 games remaining before the Yankees return home. Is it possible that Mo won't get Numbers 601 and 602 in those games? Sure, the Yankees could lose 3 out of 4. Of course, they could also win so big in 3 out of 4 that the games won't provide Mo with save situations.

I'd still prefer that he get it at Yankee Stadium. Even if it's the 2nd Yankee Stadium.

Like Rudyard Kipling said of the Light Brigade: Honor the charge he made, honor Mariano Rivera, noble six hundred!


Jeter hits 3075 DONE
Rivera saves 600 2
A-Rod homers 628 135
A-Rod hits 2769 231
Magic Number 12 (to eliminate Scum for Division, 8 to eliminate Rays and clinch Playoffs, Jays & O's done)

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