K-Rod: Rivera is 'The best. Period'

New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez has the utmost respect for New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.

Francisco Rodriguez

Francisco Rodriguez

#75 RP
New York Mets

2011 STATS

  • GM22
  • W1

  • L0

  • BB12

  • K23

  • ERA0.79

“He’s the best. Period,” Rodriguez said after closing out his team’s 1-0 win on Thursday afternoon. “He’s the best and he’ll always be the best. Period.”

Rodriguez has converted his last 14 save opportunities and has thrown 18 straight scoreless innings.

Rivera, on the other hand, has blown three of his 16 save chances this season.

Rivera, now 41-years-old, doesn’t have the velocity he used to, but his cutter remains arguably the most dominant pitch in baseball. And Rodriguez hopes he continues to throw it -- and be successful -- for years to come.

“The opportunity he gets, I think he’s got two more years on his contract [counting this one], hopefully he can get more [saves] than that because I enjoy watching him pitch,” Rodriguez said. “So I hope it’s something he can do for many more years to come.”