"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sorry, Mariano

Here is what I wrote on August 11:

Since Mariano Rivera's implosion against the Boston Red Sox on April 27, he is 1-1 with 18 saves in 42 innings pitched. He has struck out 43 batters, walked only two and has given up only six earned runs. His ERA went from 12.15 on that date to 2.77 where it stands today. He also has not blown a save since (knock on wood). (Source)
Since that day, Rivera has pitched in six games. He's won one game, lost another, saved two and blew one. I have to feel somewhat responsible. I guess me writing "knock on wood" and not actually doing any physical knocking myself may be to blame.

He has allowed 14 hits and six earned runs in 6 1-3 innings. His ERA has jumped from 2.77 to 3.44. Since becoming closer in 1997, the highest ERA Rivera has had in a season was 2.85 way back in 2000. In fact, Rivera has not had an ERA above 2.00 since 2002 when he had multiple stints on the disabled list. I understand ERA is a bad stat for relievers (especially closers), but a streak like that is pretty significant.

No, I don't think anything is wrong with Rivera. No, I don't think Joba Chamberlain should replace him as closer. Rivera usually has stretches in the middle of the season where he struggles a bit and then proceeds to turn it on towards the end of the season. Until he proves otherwise, I feel that this recent stretch of awful pitching is just that: an awful stretch.


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