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Monday, June 3, 2013
One Mo time: Rivera vs. Indians

By Katie Sharp and Mark Simon


AP Photo/Mark DuncanMariano Rivera celebrates after getting the final out against the Indians in Game 5 of the 1998 ALCS.
For the remainder of the 2013 season, we will look ahead to Mariano Rivera's matchups against teams he will be facing for the final time in the regular season. We missed out on the Diamondbacks, but we'll circle back and play catch-up with that one eventually.

Next up in our series, a look at Rivera's history against the Cleveland Indians.


By the Numbers
Mariano Rivera's career stats vs. Indians


Regular Season
45 appearances
29 saves
57 1/3 innings pitched
20 runs allowed
52 hits allowed
55 strikeouts
11 walks

Postseason (1997 ALDS, 1998 ALCS, 2007 ALDS)
9 appearances
2 saves
12 1/3 innings pitched
1 run allowed
4 hits allowed
12 strikeouts
2 walks

Did you know?
• Rivera has 29 regular-season saves vs. the Indians. The only player with more saves vs. the franchise is Joe Nathan (32).

• Rivera has a streak of 17 straight saves vs. the Indians that started in 2003. That is tied for the fourth-longest streak against the team, behind Keith Foulke (18), Tom Henke (19) and John Wetteland (19).

• Rivera has not walked an Indians batter since July 14, 2002. That was arguably his worst career outing, when he gave up six runs (his most as a reliever) on five hits in two-thirds of an inning, blowing the save in dramatic fashion when Bill Selby hit a walk-off home run.

That was Rivera's last regular-season blown save against the Indians. Since then, he has allowed two runs in 25 1/3 innings against them in the regular season. In fact, the Yankees have not lost a regular-season game to the Indians in which Rivera pitched since that game (24 straight wins).

• Rivera has gone 24 straight games without walking a batter vs. the Indians. That is tied with the Royals for his longest active streak vs. any team. The longest walk-less streak in his career is against the Blue Jays, a 30-game streak from 2006-10.

• Rivera had a 3.16 ERA at Progressive Field. That's his second-highest ERA at any AL ballpark, behind Angel Stadium (3.26).

• Rivera had a 40-pitch save against the Indians on May 1, 2000. Baseball-Reference.com has pitch counts for every Rivera save and notes that is his third-most pitches in a regular-season save. He hasn't had a save of more pitches in either the regular season or the postseason since then.

• Rivera has allowed a batting average of .100 in nine career postseason games vs. the Indians. The only team he has a lower BA against in the playoffs is the Rangers (.091).

• Mariano has five career postseason blown saves. His first came against the Indians in Game 4 of the 1997 ALDS (see more below).

Sandy Alomar Jr. stuck the decisive blow in Game 4 of the 1997 ALDS, hitting a game-tying home run in the eighth inning to hand Rivera his first career postseason blown save. That home run is one of two he has allowed in 141 postseason innings (other is by the Mets' Jay Payton in the 2000 World Series).

When asked earlier this season by Indians employees about his worst memory when playing the team, Rivera said that game-tying homer in the 1997 ALDS "was the stone on which I stepped to push forward because it helped me to become better. If that wouldn't have happened, God only knows where I would have ended up." (New York Times, April 11, 2013).

They said it
"It's hard to compare the generations because guys used to pitch three innings to get a save, but in the modern era I don't know if there's anybody that can touch him. He just had quiet class. There's a reason he's done what he's done for so long. You know that cutter is coming and you still can't hit it. or you hit it and it doesn't go very far."
-- Indians manager Terry Francona (Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 9, 2013)

Magic 'Mo'ments
• Rivera earned his first postseason save on Sept. 30, 1997 in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Indians. Mariano needed just 19 pitches to get four outs, allowing only a ninth-inning leadoff single to Manny Ramirez. Rivera has 31 career saves of at least four outs in the postseason; no other pitcher has more than seven.

• A year after blowing a save that played a major role in knocking the Yankees out of the postseason, Rivera was on the mound when the Yankees clinched the AL pennant against the Indians in 1998. The final out came from Omar Vizquel (who got the winning hit against the Yankees in that 1997 ALCS win) on a comebacker to Rivera.

• The Yankees' first win at the new Yankee Stadium came on April 17, 2009, against the Indians, and Rivera was there (of course) to get the final out in the 6-5 victory. After allowing two of the first three batters to reach base, he struck out Grady Sizemore and Mark DeRosa to end the game.