New York Yankees: One Mo Time

One Mo Time (Rivera vs. Rays)

September, 24, 2013
9/24/13
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Steve Jacobson/Getty ImagesMariano Rivera pitching in Tropicana Field circa 2004, when he recorded his 300th career save there.
This is the final installment of our "One Mo Time" tribute to Mariano Rivera, reviewing his career against every major-league team. To see other articles in this series, click here.

By the Numbers
Career vs Rays


64 saves
2 blown saves
1.71 ERA
105 IP
73 H
113 K
25 BB

Did You Know?
• Mariano Rivera's 64 saves against the Rays are his second-most versus any team (he has 79 against the Orioles) and the most by anyone against the Rays. The three pitchers who rank 2-3-4 in saves against the Rays have a combined 60 saves against them (Jonathan Papelbon, Troy Percival, Joe Nathan).

• Rivera had a streak of 33 straight save chances converted against the Rays from 1998 to 2005 and then a 27-save streak from 2005 to 2011. He's only had two blown saves against them: one in 2005 and one on Opening Day 2012.

The only longer streaks by a pitcher against a team are 37 games, by Lee Smith against the Expos and 36 games by John Franco against the Phillies and Joe Nathan against the Tigers.

Rivera has the two longest save streaks against the Rays. The next-longest is 13 games, by B.J. Ryan and Keith Foulke.

• Rivera's 1.71 ERA in 105 innings against the Rays is the best ERA for any of the more than 100 pitchers with at least 50 career innings against the Rays.

He finished his career with a 1.18 ERA at Tropicana Field, his second-lowest at any ballpark he's visited more than 15 times, and behind his 1.11 ERA at US Cellular Field. His 1.18 ERA there is easily the best by any pitcher than has thrown at least 50 innings at the dome.

• In 2011, Rays hitters went 0-for-14 against Rivera. That's the worst single-season 0-for by a team against Rivera. Rivera has held four different teams to 0-for-10 or worse in the regular season, but the Rays are the only team against whom he’s done so twice (2000 and 2011)

• Rivera has averaged 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings in his career vs the Rays, his highest strikeout rate vs any AL team (except Astros). That is the second-highest strikeout rate against the Rays by any pitcher (min. 100 IP), behind only Pedro Martinez (11.4).

• Rivera didn't allow a homer in his first 45 appearances vs. the Rays from 1998 to 2005, which is easily his longest homerless streak from the start of his career vs. any team. It is also one appearance shy of his most consecutive games without allowing a homer to a team at any point in his career. He has a 46-appearance streak vs. the Rangers and vs. the Royals.

• The first Rays player to homer against Rivera was former ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez. His solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning on August 16, 2005 tied the game at three runs apiece, as the Rays eventually went on win in the 11th inning. Perez, now the bench coach for the Astros, often spoke of that game as his favorite baseball memory, because he homered against two future Hall of Famers -- Rivera and Randy Johnson.

• Current Rays third baseman Evan Longoria is one of five players to homer twice against Rivera. With a home run in this series off him, he would become the only player to take Rivera deep three times.

• Rivera's 4-6 record vs the Rays matches his worst vs any team he has faced more than 10 times (2-3 vs Royals).

• Rivera's only two blown saves against the Rays have come in Tampa. He's 27-for-27 in save conversions against them at home. He once went more than five years (between 1999 and 2004) without allowing a run at home against the Rays.

• Speaking of home, with this being Rivera's last series in Yankee Stadium, we can tell you that his 314 saves at home are the most all-time, four more than Trevor Hoffman. Rivera's 314 home saves are more than 200 more than the Yankee with the next-most Dave Righetti, 111.

Rivera is also one of only two pitchers to be on the mound for the final out of two World Series clinchers in his home ballpark (1998 and 2009). The other is a former Yankee, Allie Reynolds.

They Said It
"I think of consistency and class and I don't throw the word class around easily. He's different. You can argue over who the best shortstop was, or the best centerfielder. You can't argue about who was the best closer."
-- Rays manager Joe Maddon on Mariano Rivera


Magic Moments
May 7 and May 9, 2002 -- Rivera earns saves against the Rays, the 224th and 225th of his career, tying and passing Dave Righetti for the most career saves in Yankees history.

May 28, 2004 -- Rivera records his 300th career save, getting the final three outs in a 7-5 Yankees win.

One Mo' Time: Rivera vs. Giants, Astros

September, 20, 2013
9/20/13
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AP ImagesMariano Rivera pitches against the Astros earlier this year.
All season, we’ve been tracking Mariano Rivera as he prepares to pitch in his final series against each team. Since he's faced the San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros only a few times, we'll combine them into one post as we preview the Giants series starting today.

By the Numbers
Rivera's career vs Giants


3 appearances
0-1 W-L record
3 2/3 innings
2 hits
0.00 ERA
2 saves

By the Numbers
Rivera's career vs Astros


6 appearances
0-0 W-L record
5 1/3 innings
1 hit
0.00 ERA
5 saves

Did you know?
• Rivera has faced only 15 batters in his career versus the Giants. The only team against which he has faced fewer batters is the Cardinals (10).

• The Giants are one of nine teams he has a 0.00 ERA against. But it is the only one of those nine that he has allowed an unearned run against. On June 8, 2002, an Alfonso Soriano error allowed Rich Aurilia to score in the ninth inning of 3-3 game the Yankees would eventually lose.

• Rivera is 0-1 in three games vs the Giants, with the loss being that June 8, 2002, game. The only other team he has at least one decision against and no wins is the Braves (0-1).

• He threw 34 pitches in one inning in that loss to the Giants. Only twice in his career has he thrown more pitches in an outing of one inning or less: April 11, 1996, he threw 36 pitches and got three outs; April 6, 2005 versus Boston he threw 38 pitches and got two outs.

• The Yankees travel to Houston on Sept. 27 for their final series of the season. Rivera has never pitched in a road game against the Astros. The only other team he has never faced on the road is the Pirates.

• The Astros have an on-base percentage of .063 in 16 plate appearances against Rivera. That is the lowest on-base percentage allowed versus any team in his career. His batting average allowed (.063) and slugging percentage allowed (.063) vs the Astros are both his second-highest vs any team (Cardinals, .100 batting average and slugging percentage).

• The only hit Rivera has allowed to the Astros came on May 1, when Brandon Barnes singled to lead off the ninth inning. Prior to that hit the Astros were 0-for-13 with eight strikeouts vs Mariano.

They Said It
"He's got to be the No. 1 calming influence in baseball history. I know what it's like in New York, and he's done all this in an era where they had to win and there was a lot of pressure on everybody, and yet here was this one guy who would come out of center field in the ninth and calm everybody down."
-- Dave Righetti, former Yankee pitcher and current Giants pitching coach (source: San Jose Mercury News, Sept. 16)

Magic Mo'ments
• June 12, 2003 -- Rivera pitched a perfect ninth inning against the Astros, shutting down the top of the order (Craig Biggio, Morgan Ensberg, Jeff Bagwell) to earn the save in the Yankees 6-5 win. That victory moved the Yankees into first place in the AL East, a lead they would not relinquish the remainder of the season.

One Mo Time (Rivera vs. Blue Jays)

September, 17, 2013
9/17/13
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Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY SportsMariano Rivera gets congratulations at Rogers Centre following his record-tying 601st career save.

All season, we've been tracking Mariano Rivera as he prepares to pitch in his final series against each team. Next up on the goodbye list: the Toronto Blue Jays.

By the Numbers
Rivera's career stats vs. Blue Jays


8-2 Win-Loss Record
53 saves
6 blown saves
1.83 ERA
103 IP
81 Hits
106 strikeouts
17 walks

Did You Know?
• Mariano Rivera has 53 career saves against the Blue Jays, his fourth-most versus any team (behind the Orioles, Rays and Red Sox). That's the most of any pitcher against the Blue Jays and as many as the pitchers who rank second and third have combined (Jonathan Papelbon 27, Roberto Hernandez 26).

• Rivera had 25 consecutive saves against the Blue Jays from 2005 to 2010, the longest streak by any pitcher against them. Second–best is Jonathan Papelbon: 24 games.

• Rivera's 1.83 ERA is the second-best all-time for anyone with at least 100 innings pitched against them. The only pitcher with a better ERA is Alex Fernandez, 1.80, a mark Rivera could break with 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

• Rivera's 0.95 WHIP against them is the lowest all-time, though he'll have to be good in this series to stay ahead of Dennis Eckersley's 0.97.

• Since the start of the 2006 season, Rivera has pitched 46 1/3 innings against the Blue Jays. He has 45 strikeouts and only one walk against them in that span.

• From the start of the 2006 season to the end of the 2010 season, Rivera did not walk a batter in 30 appearances vs. the Blue Jays. That streak of 30 straight walk-free outings is his longest such streak against any team in his career.

• Rivera has 106 strikeouts and 17 walks against the Blue Jays. That strikeout-to-walk ratio of 6.2 is his best vs. any American League team in his career.

• On August 7, 2005, Rivera threw one pitch and got the save vs the Blue Jays. That is one of two one-pitch saves in his career, along with one against the Angels in 2011.

• Rivera's six blown saves against the Blue Jays are tied for the second-most by any pitcher against them, surpassed only by the seven by former Blue Jays reliever Mike Timlin.

They said it
"It's just the way he carries himself. The dignity. There's no fanfare. He doesn't rub anything in. He just goes out and beats you and walks off the field. And then you hear the music."

-- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons conversing this spring with ESPN.com's Jayson Stark about Mariano Rivera

Magic Moments
On September 17, 2011, Rivera protected a 7-6 lead in the ninth inning against the Blue Jays, earning his 601st career save. That tied Trevor Hoffman for the most career saves in major-league history.

Earlier in the season, Rivera reached another milestone in a game against the Blue Jays. His appearance against them on May 25 was the 1,000th of his major-league career.

Mark Simon and Katie Sharp are researchers for ESPN Stats & Information. To read the other articles in this series, click here.

One Mo Time: Rivera vs. Red Sox

September, 13, 2013
9/13/13
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AP Photo/Julie JacobsonMariano Rivera is carried off the field by his teammates after the Yankees' win over the Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
All season, we’ve been tracking Mariano Rivera as he prepares to pitch in his final series against each team. Next up on the goodbye list: the Boston Red Sox.

By the Numbers
Rivera's career stats vs. Red Sox

Regular Season

2.86 ERA
58 saves
16 blown saves
126 innings pitched
120 hits
40 earned runs
120 strikeouts
37 walks

Postseason
0.92 ERA
6 saves
2 blown saves
19 2/3 innings pitched
16 hits
2 earned runs
15 strikeouts
2 walks

Did you know?
• Rivera's 58 saves vs. the Red Sox are not only the most against the franchise by any player, but are more than the next two pitchers on the list combined, Rick Aguilera (27) and Roberto Hernandez (22).

• Mo has four saves vs. the Red Sox this season, and with three games remaining has a chance to match or surpass his single-season mark for saves against Boston. In 2001, 2005 and 2007 he had six.

• Rivera's 13 wins against the Red Sox are his most vs. any team. He is also tied with Rollie Fingers for the most wins by a relief pitcher against the Red Sox in the Divisional Era (since 1969).

• Mariano did not allow a home run to a Red Sox batter over his first 30 appearances (34 innings) vs. the team.

That streak of 30 straight relief appearances without allowing a homer to begin his career vs. the Red Sox is the second-longest such streak all time, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Red Faber didn't allow a homer in his first 32 relief appearances vs. the Red Sox from 1914-33.

• The first Red Sox hitter to go deep off Rivera was Manny Ramirez on June 4, 2001. Rivera blew the save thanks to Ramirez's two-run shot in the top of the ninth inning, but Luis Sojo's walk-off single in the bottom of the frame gave Rivera and the Yankees the win.

• Rivera's six postseason saves against the Red Sox are his most vs. any team. It is also tied for the most postseason saves by a single player against any team. Dennis Eckersley also had six postseason saves vs. the Red Sox.

• In seven playoff appearances at Yankee Stadium vs. the Red Sox, Rivera has converted all three of his save opportunities and has not allowed a run in 10 innings. In those games he has faced just nine batters with a man in scoring position, and has retired all of them, including five via strikeout.

• Rivera has blown 16 regular-season saves vs. the Red Sox, his most against any team. It is also the most blown saves by a single pitcher against any team, ahead of Kent Tekulve's 14 blown saves vs. the Phillies.

• Rivera has hit nine Red Sox batters in his career. That's three more than any other team he's faced. He has hit Kevin Youkilis three times, but no other Red Sox hitter more than once.

• Rivera did not allow a stolen base in any of his first 48 appearances against the Red Sox, a streak that would end during the 2004 regular season when the Red Sox had steals in two different games against him.

They would get another in the postseason, the famous one by Dave Roberts in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, the only one they would get in 12 postseason games against him.

They Said It
"In a world of uncertainty, in a world of 'look at me athletes,' for almost 20 years he was the most selfless, accountable and consistent professional in the history of sports."
-- Curt Schilling, former Red Sox pitcher

The Magic Mo'ment
• Oct. 16, 2003 -- Rivera closes out Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS against the Red Sox with three scoreless innings. Rivera's effort allowed Aaron Boone to win the game with a walk-off home run leading off the bottom of the 11th inning, giving the Yankees and Rivera one of the most dramatic postseason wins in baseball history.

More on Game 7:
• Rivera is one of four pitchers to throw at least three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win in a winner-take-all postseason game, joining Hall of Famer Walter Johnson (1924 Senators), Joe Page (1947 Yankees) and Pedro Martinez (1999 Red Sox).

• Rivera has pitched three innings or more in two postseason games, both of which the Yankees won on dramatic home runs, the first by Jim Leyritz in Game 2 of the 1995 ALDS against the Mariners and the other in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, won by Boone’s homer.

Other Mo'ments
• April 11, 2005 -- Rivera is given a standing ovation as players are introduced at Fenway Park prior to the Red Sox home opener against the Yankees, one in which the home fans would celebrate the team ending its World Series drought. Rivera would respond by tipping his cap to the crowd.

• July 5, 2008 -- The Red Sox trail the Yankees 2-1 with the bases loaded and nobody out in the ninth inning. The time has come for a Rivera great escape. He would strike out Coco Crisp, get Jason Varitek to pop to first and strike out Julio Lugo to end the game.

One Mo Time: Rivera vs. Orioles

September, 9, 2013
9/09/13
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AP ImagesMariano Rivera delivers the last pitch versus the Orioles in the final game at the old Yankee Stadium.
All season, we've been tracking Mariano Rivera as he prepares to pitch in his final series against each team. Next up on the goodbye list: the Baltimore Orioles.

By the Numbers
Rivera's career stats vs. Orioles

Regular season

3.05 ERA
77 saves
9 blown saves
138 2/3 innings pitched
117 hits
47 earned runs
104 strikeouts
27 walks

Postseason (1996 ALCS)
0.00 ERA
0 saves
0 blown saves
4 innings pitched
6 hits
0 earned runs
5 strikeouts
1 walk

Did you know?
• Rivera's 77 saves versus the Orioles are not only the most by any player versus the O's, they are also the most saves against a single franchise by any pitcher, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Next on the list is Trevor Hoffman with 68 saves versus the Dodgers.

• Rivera has pitched more innings (138 2/3), more games (133) and faced more batters (554) versus the Orioles than any other team in the majors.

• Rivera has been far better on the road against the Orioles than at home. He has a 4.25 ERA and opponent OPS of .735 at Yankee Stadium versus the Orioles, and a 1.97 ERA and opponent OPS of .480 at Camden Yards versus the Orioles.

• Rivera has 41 saves at Camden Yards, which is by far the most of any visiting player at the stadium and is the most saves by any visitor at a single ballpark, according to Elias. In fact, only two Orioles have more saves at Camden Yards -- Jorge Julio (43) and Jim Johnson (54).

• His batting average allowed of .173 at Camden Yards is Rivera's second lowest at any ballpark where he has pitched at least 15 innings.

• His most dominant stretch against Baltimore came during a near three-year period from Sept. 5, 2004, to June 27, 2007. In that span, he appeared in 16 games versus the Orioles and threw 17 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out 14 of the 63 batters he faced while allowing only 11 baserunners.

• Rivera had 10 saves against the Orioles in 2004, his most against any team in a single season. That's tied for the most by any pitcher against an AL team (Neftali Feliz had 10 against the Angels in 2010 and Jose Valverde had 10 against the Royals in 2011), and one shy of the most by a pitcher against any team (Armando Benitez had 11 against the Mets in 2004).

• Rivera has nine losses against the Orioles, the most he has against any franchise.

• His ERA of 3.05 against the Orioles is his second-highest versus any AL team (3.75 vs. the Angels).

They Said It
"Mariano certainly has a good track record for throwing the ball over the plate. He's been trying to get a little more depth to his breaking ball, but he's been able to get people out by locating his fastball, changeup and slider. And he's a good athlete. A real good athlete."
-- Buck Showalter to the New York media before Rivera's MLB debut on May 23, 1995

Magic Mo'ments
• Oct. 9, 1996: Rivera pitched two scoreless innings in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS and earned the win in one of the most memorable Yankees victories that postseason, when Bernie Williams hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning.

• Sept. 21, 2008: Rivera got Brian Roberts to ground out for the final out of the last game ever played at the old Yankee Stadium, closing out a 7-3 win against the Orioles.

One Mo Time: Rivera vs White Sox

September, 2, 2013
9/02/13
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AP Photo/Frank PolichMariano Rivera and Joe Girardi celebrate a 1997 win against the White Sox.
All season, we've been tracking Mariano Rivera as he prepares to pitch in his final series against each team. Next up on the goodbye list: the Chicago White Sox.

Career vs White Sox
1.29 ERA
41 saves, 4 blown saves
83 2/3 IP
51 Hits
71 strikeouts
16 walks

Did You Know?
• Rivera did not allow a run in his first 18 appearances against the White Sox, spanning 34 innings. That streak began on July 4, 1995 (more on that game in a moment) and ended on September 4, 1998, when he allowed an RBI single to current White Sox manager Robin Ventura in an 11-6 win.

Elias notes that was the longest scoreless streak against the White Sox since a 43 2/3 inning scoreless streak by Hall of Famer Whitey Ford for the Yankees from 1963 to 1964.

• When Rivera allowed a run in the ninth inning against the White Sox on August 7, it ended a streak of 13 straight scoreless appearances (14 2/3 innings) against them. It was his first run allowed to them since August 8, 2006 when Paul Konerko hit a game-tying home run against them.


Ron Vesely/MLB Photos/Getty ImagesThis is what it looked like from behind home plate at U.S. Cellular Field when Rivera pitched.

• Rivera’s 41 saves are the most of anyone against the White Sox, a dozen better than Dennis Eckersley, who ranks second.

• Rivera’s 1.29 ERA against the White Sox ranks second-best for him among AL teams (not including the Astros), just behind his 1.24 ERA against the Minnesota Twins. Elias notes that it is the best ERA of anyone with at least 80 career innings against the White Sox.

• Rivera has a 1.11 ERA in 48 2/3 innings pitched at U.S. Cellular Field. That’s the best ERA of anyone who has pitched at least 40 innings in that ballpark.

• Rivera has has allowed only two homers in 83 2/3 innings against the White Sox. That home run rate per nine innings of 0.22 is his lowest versus any team he’s thrown at least 10 innings against.

• The White Sox have grounded into nine double plays against the Rivera. The only team that Rivera has gotten more double plays against is the Orioles (10).

• Rivera put a big hurt on the player known as “Big Hurt.” White Sox star Frank Thomas went 3-for-22 with seven strikeouts in his career against Rivera. His .303 OPS was his second-worst against any pitcher versus whom he had 28 at-bats (Eric Plunk ranked better, .269).

They said it
“It turned out the scouting report we got was for the wrong Rivera. The pitcher we happened to be facing was Mariano Rivera.”

-- John Kruk, explaining the White Sox befuddlement against Rivera on July 4, 1995.

That day, Rivera pitched eight scoreless, two-hit innings, striking out 11. Kruk was of the impression that the opposing pitcher threw 85 mph and leaned over the plate his first time up, only to watch a 95-mph fastball buzz by his chest.

That game is a turning point in Rivera's career. Rivera was five appearances into his major-league career at that point, the first four of which resulted in a 10.20 ERA and a demotion back to Triple-A.

“I have no doubt I can pitch here,” Rivera told the media that day. Said prophetic White Sox manager Terry Bevington: “If he pitches like that, he’ll be in the big leagues a long time.”

Rivera’s eight-inning, 11-strikeout scoreless outing against the White Sox in his fifth career game remains one of the best games that any Yankee has pitched that early into his career.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, his 11 strikeouts are the most for any Yankee in a game within his first five career games.

Rivera is also the last Yankee to throw at least eight scoreless innings in a game that early into his career. Before Rivera, it hadn’t been accomplished since Scott Nielsen did it in 1986.

Magic ‘Mo’ment
Rivera had a couple of other moments of note against the White Sox:

On September 23, 2003, Rivera got to be on the mound for the clinching of the AL East, getting the final three outs in a 7-0 win over the White Sox.

On July 16, 2006, he closed out a 6-4 win over the White Sox to record the 400th save of his career.

And on September 15, 2008, he passed Lee Smith into second place on the all-time save list with his 479th save in a 4-2 win over the White Sox.

One Mo Time: Rivera vs. Angels

August, 12, 2013
8/12/13
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Getty ImagesMariano Rivera pitches during the series-clinching Game 6 of the 2009 ALCS vs the Angels.
Continuing our team-by-team review of Mariano Rivera' s career, we look at his history against the Los Angeles Angels.

By the Numbers
Rivera's career regular season stats vs. Angels


3.75 ERA
28 saves
8 blown saves
62⅓ innings pitched
67 hits
26 earned runs
52 strikeouts
13 walks

Did You Know
• Rivera's first-ever appearance in pinstripes came in a start against the Angels on May 23, 1995. He allowed five runs on eight hits in 3⅓ innings in the 10-0 loss (opposing pitcher Chuck Finley struck out 15 and pitched a two-hit shutout). The eight hits Rivera allowed in that first career game are the most hits he's given up in a single game.

• Tony Phillips was Mariano's first strikeout victim in the first inning of that first career game, and Tim Salmon became the first person to get a hit off Rivera two batters later.

• Rivera's 28 saves against the Angels are the second-most vs the franchise all-time behind Dennis Eckersley's 32.

• Rivera has converted his last 15 save opportunities against the Angels in regular-season play. His last regular-season blown save against them was May 11, 2004, when Bengie Molina hit a two-run game-tying homer in the ninth inning.

• Rivera has two one-pitch saves in his career and one of them came against the Angels on June 4, 2011 (the other is vs the Blue Jays in 2005).

• Mariano has been much better against Angels in the postseason than the regular season. In 11 postseason innings he has allowed a .132 slugging percentage vs the Angels, his second-lowest vs any team in the playoffs.

• Rivera has a 3.75 ERA vs the Angels, his worst ERA vs any team in his career. And his 1.28 WHIP vs the Angels is also his worst WHIP vs any team.

• Mariano has thrown three wild pitches against the Angels, his most against any team.

• Rivera has converted only 78 percent of his save opportunities vs the Angels (28 of 36), his worst rate vs any AL team.

• Only two players have hit a game-tying homer with two outs in the ninth inning against Rivera at Yankee Stadium: Miguel Cabrera last week and Mo Vaughn, who did so for the Angels in 2000.

They said it
“It was good. I walked. It would have been pretty cool to get a hit off him. But just being out there, being in the box, facing him, and him having that great stuff. That was pretty good.”
-- Angels outfielder Mike Trout on facing Rivera for the first time

Magic 'Mo'ments
• May 23, 1995 - Rivera makes his major-league debut in a start against the Angels in California. Mariano took the loss, allowing a career-high eight hits and five earned runs in 3⅓ innings.

• May 17, 1996 - Mariano gets his first career save (game was started by Andy Pettitte). He pitched one inning of scoreless relief against the Angels, allowing only a hit and getting Garret Anderson to ground into a double play to end the game.

• October 25, 2009 - Rivera gets the save in the series-clinching win against the Angels in Game 6 of the ALCS. The Yankees would go on to win the World Series.

• June 16, 2013 - The Yankees nearly fritter away a 6-0 lead in the ninth inning against the Angels. But Rivera strikes out Albert Pujols with the score 6-5, the bases loaded and two outs to save the day.

One Mo Time: Rivera vs. Tigers

August, 9, 2013
8/09/13
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AMark Cunningham/MLB Photos/Getty ImagesThe Tigers' Prince Fielder gives Mariano Rivera the ball from the final out of the 2013 All-Star Game.
Continuing our team-by-team review of Mariano Rivera's career, we look at his history against the Detroit Tigers.

By the Numbers
Rivera's career stats vs. Tigers


Regular Season
0.77 ERA
30 saves
3 blown saves
58 2/3 innings pitched
28 hits
5 earned runs
55 strikeouts
8 walks

Did You Know?
• Rivera’s career regular-season ERA against the Tigers is 0.77 (five earned runs in 58 2/3 innings pitched), his best against any team he’s pitched at least 10 innings against.

• The Tigers have hit .138 and managed a .375 OPS against him, both the lowest for any team with more than 20 at-bats against him.

• Rivera’s 6.9 strikeout-to-walk rate against them is his best versus any AL team.

Neither of those stats include the 2 1/3 innings of scoreless one-hit ball against them in the postseason.

• Also a best: his 5-1 win-loss record, an .833 winning percentage, which rates best among AL opponents.

• Rivera’s last blown save against the Tigers came on July 6, 1999, in a game the Yankees won anyway, 9-8. Rivera came into the game in the eighth inning but ended up allowing two runs to blow the save.

That is the only time in 56 regular-season and postseason appearances vs. the Tigers he gave up more than one run.

• Rivera has converted his last 23 save chances against the Tigers, which is the second-longest streak all time vs. the franchise, behind Joe Nathan's active 36-save streak. His 30 career saves against them are third most of anyone, trailing Nathan (36 -- all in a row) and Roberto Hernandez (31).

Specifically in those 23 saves, Rivera has not allowed a run.

• Rivera has pitched in 28 regular-season games against the Tigers at the two Yankee Stadiums. In those 28 games, he’s allowed one run (and stranded all six inherited baserunners) and allowed 10 hits in 29 1/3 innings. The only run scored on a double play hit by Bobby Higginson.

• Rivera has finished just 42 games and pitched 58 2/3 innings vs. the Tigers, his fewest vs. any AL team (except the Astros).

They Said It
"What I remember most is that every time I swung the bat against him I felt like I was on the pitch and it ended up in the mitt. It was like being in a Bugs Bunny cartoon -- every time I started to hit the ball, it moved out of the bat's way."

-- Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter on what he'll remember most about facing Rivera (against whom he is 3-for-18 with 10 strikeouts, combining regular season and postseason)


Magic ‘Mo’ment
Since pitching three innings of relief in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, Rivera has gone that long in a game just once. It was against the Tigers on May 30, 2006, in an 11-6 11-inning Yankees win.

Rivera earned the victory in that one with vintage Mariano efficiency. He got the nine outs on just 25 pitches.

One Mo Time: Rivera vs. Padres

August, 2, 2013
8/02/13
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Getty ImagesMariano Rivera and Joe Girardi celebrate following the final out of the 1998 World Series.
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.

In this case, we'll look not only at Rivera's career against the San Diego Padres, but also the teams from the NL Central he won't see this season (barring a World Series appearance).


By the Numbers
Rivera's career vs the Padres

Regular Season

4 appearances
4 innings
1 hit
9 strikeouts
1 walk
0.00 ERA
3 saves

Postseason
3 appearances
4S innings
5 hits
4 strikeouts
0 walks
0.00 ERA
3 saves

Did you know? (Padres Edition)
•  Mariano has nine strikeouts in four regular-season innings vs. the Padres. His strikeout rate of 20.3 K per nine innings is his highest vs any team.

•  Rivera has nine career World Series saves of at least four outs -- more than twice as many as any other pitcher -- and three of them came in the 1998 World Series vs. the Padres. Those were his only three saves in that series.

Did you know? (NL Central Edition)
•  Rivera has faced each of the 29 other teams besides the Yankees, but the only team he does not have a save against is the Pittsburgh Pirates.

•  Rivera does have two wins against the Pirates (and no losses) and is also 2-0 vs the Milwaukee Brewers. Those 2-0 records vs the Brewers and Pirates are his most wins without a loss vs any team in his career.

•  Mariano has thrown only 3S innings vs the St. Louis Cardinals, his fewest vs. any team.

•  Rivera has given up zero hits in three games vs the Cardinals, the only team he hasn't allowed a hit against.

•  Mariano has allowed a .313 batting average in four games vs the Chicago Cubs, his highest vs. any team.

•  Rivera threw 30 pitches in a four-out save against the Cincinnati Reds on June 22, 2008. That's his most pitches in a save against an NL team and also the last time he threw at least 30 pitches in a save vs. any team.

They Said It
"There are many things to admire about Mariano, but the thing that stands out is how he has handled all of his success with class. The game is lucky to have such an ambassador."
--former relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman


Magic 'Mo'ments
October 21, 1998 -- Mariano got the final four outs of Game 4 in the 1998 World Series vs. the Padres, clinching the Yankees' third straight championship. It was the first time in his career Mariano recorded the final out of the World Series.

Rivera has recorded the final out of the World Series four different times. No other pitcher in baseball history has done it more than twice.

One Mo Time (Rivera vs. Dodgers)

July, 30, 2013
7/30/13
10:00
AM ET
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Mariano Rivera gets kudos from Don Mattingly after a spring training win in 2005.
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.

In this case, we’ll look not only at Rivera’s career against the Dodgers, but the Diamondbacks (the one team we skipped in writing this series) and a few teams he won’t see this season (barring a World Series appearance).



By the Numbers
Rivera’s career vs the Dodgers

4 appearances
1-0 win-loss record
5 innings
2 hits
0.00 ERA
2 saves

Did You Know?

• Rivera’s nine strikeouts against the Dodgers are tied for his most against any team against which he has not issued a walk (matching his total against the Astros).


Rob Leiter/MLB/Getty Images
Mariano Rivera delivering a pitch against the Dodger Stadium backdrop


• The five scoreless innings vs. the Dodgers are just one shy of the team against which he has the most regular-season innings pitched without allowing a run, the Diamondbacks.

• Speaking of the Diamondbacks, Rivera has five regular-season appearances against Arizona, all of which came after the 2001 World Series, with four saves and a win.

One of the most impressive escapes of Rivera’s career came against the Diamondbacks on June 23, 2010. The Diamondbacks loaded the bases with nobody out against him in the 10th inning, trailing by a run, but Rivera retired Chris Young, Adam LaRoche and Mark Reynolds on two popups and a strikeout to end the game and a 6-5 Yankees win.

•  Rivera lost to the Mets already this season, but won’t face the Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies or Washington Nationals in the regular season.

• Rivera allowed four runs to the Braves on July 16, 1999. They are the most runs he allowed in an interleague game. In his 16 other appearances against the Braves (including postseason), Rivera not only allowed only one run in 20 1/3 innings, he allowed none of the 11 runners he inherited to score. Four of Rivera's nine saves against NL teams that took fewer than 10 pitches came against the Braves (two in 1998, one in 2001, one in 2009)

Rivera made 13 appearances against the Phillies (including postseason) and allowed them to score only once (two runs in a game in 2000). In the other 12 games, he pitched 15 scoreless innings.

Rivera made 10 appearances against the Marlins, including postseason, and allowed them to score only once, two runs in a 6-5 loss on June 15, 1997. In the other nine games, he pitched 11 scoreless innings, though he did allow one inherited runner to score.

• The Nationals are the team in that quartet with whom Rivera had the most trouble. The Nationals and Mets are the only two NL teams that Rivera has lost to twice.

They Said It
“I was retired watching him and it was kind of like, ‘Wow, this guy, nobody touches him.’ I’d like to say I knew [he’d be great], but I didn’t. I just didn’t. Everything he does, he handles himself well. I think he’s great the way he handles himself, and he’s just a genuine person. I think he’s a great ambassador for the game.”
-- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly


Magic Moments
Rivera’s most impressive save against the Dodgers came on June 25, 2010, when he struck out Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp and James Loney on 13 pitches in the ninth inning to preserve a 2-1 Yankees win.

One Mo Time: Rivera vs. Rangers

July, 22, 2013
7/22/13
11:00
AM ET
AP Photo/John Dunn
Mariano Rivera gets kudos from his catcher (now manager) after a save against the Rangers in 1997.
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.

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


Regular Season
2.28 ERA
38 saves
5 blown saves
86 2/3 innings pitched
85 hits allowed
60 strikeouts
22 walks

Postseason
0.00 ERA
5 saves
0 blown saves
14 innings pitched
4 hits
7 strikeouts
2 walks
10 appearances

Did You Know?
•  Rivera's 38 saves against the Rangers are the most against them by any pitcher, a dozen more than the pitcher who ranks second, Rollie Fingers.

•  Rivera's five postseason saves against the Rangers are tied for his second-most versus any team and tied for the third-most by any pitcher against any team in postseason play.

•  Rivera went 3-0 against the Rangers in 2000. That's one of only two instances in which he beat a team three times in a season. He also beat the Red Sox three times in 2003.

•  Rivera has not allowed a home run to the Rangers in more than 13 years. He has pitched 47 consecutive innings against the Rangers without allowing a homer. The last Ranger to homer against Rivera was Ivan Rodriguez, who hit a game-tying shot with two outs in the ninth inning on April 19, 2000. The Yankees would win the game on a Clay Bellinger homer in the 10th.

Rodriguez would play a notable role in a save milestone for Rivera. A year later, Pudge was the final out of Rivera's 200th save (Aug. 1, 2001).

Rivera has not allowed a homer in his last 44 appearances versus the Rangers, his third-longest homerless streak versus any opponent and his longest active streak.

He had a 45-game streak against the Rays from 1998 to 2005 and a 46-game streak versus the Royals from 1996 to 2008.

•  Rivera ranks second among closers with at least 200 saves with an 89.5 percent save-conversion rate. The only pitcher better is current Rangers closer Joe Nathan, whose save percentage currently stands at 90.1 percent.

•  Rivera has succeeded against the Rangers despite relatively low strikeout totals. His 6.2 strikeouts per nine against the Rangers is his second-lowest rate against any team (6.1 in eight appearances against the Marlins). Rivera's strikeout-to-walk rate (2.73) versus the Rangers is his second-worst among AL teams (Athletics, 2.69).

•  But Rivera did have one significant strikeout against the Rangers. A month into his tenure as closer in 1997, he faced reigning AL MVP Juan Gonzalez with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning, holding a one-run lead. Rivera struck Gonzalez out looking.

It is one of only two instances in Rivera's career in which a batter watched strike three go by with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning, with the Yankees winning by one run.

•  Rivera has allowed a batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage slash line of .091/.130/.091 in 14 postseason innings versus the Rangers. That's his lowest postseason batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage allowed against any team.

He has given up four singles to the 47 batters he has faced over 10 postseason appearances versus the Rangers.

They Said It
"[What impresses me most is] his longevity, being able to do it for this long. He's not a rah-rah-type guy. He doesn't get too high. He doesn't get too low. One of the biggest things for him is not letting the hype of the game get to him, just go to the mound and do his job. If he gets a save, just go up to the mound and try to do it again tomorrow."
-- Rangers closer Joe Nathan

Magic Mo-ments
Rivera clinched the ALDS against the Rangers in back-to-back seasons, getting the final three outs of a 4-0 win in Game 3 of the 1998 ALDS and the final six outs in a 3-0 win in Game 3 of the 1999 ALDS.

One of Rivera's most memorable escapes came against the Rangers on Aug. 11, 2010. After allowing a leadoff triple to Elvis Andrus with the Yankees leading 7-6 in the ninth inning, Rivera got Michael Young to fly out, Josh Hamilton to ground out and Vladimir Guerrero to ground out to end the game and preserve a Yankees win.

One Mo Time: Rivera vs. Royals

July, 8, 2013
7/08/13
10:00
AM ET
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
Mariano Rivera has only a few games left to trot to the mound against the Royals.
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 Arizona 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 Kansas City Royals.

Mariano Rivera's career stats vs. Royals
1.68 ERA
37 saves
2 blown saves
69 2/3 innings pitched
50 hits allowed
57 strikeouts
18 walks

Did You Know?
• Rivera has gone 55 straight games without allowing multiple runs to the Royals, the longest such streak against any team he has ever faced.

• Rivera has 37 saves against the Royals in his career, the second-most of any player. Only Joe Nathan, with 40, has more.

• Rivera has not allowed a run at Kauffman Stadium since 1999. He has thrown 18 straight scoreless innings there.

• One of the weirdest games of Rivera’s career took place on Aug. 2, 1996. The Yankees took a 3-0 lead on the Royals in the top of the 10th inning and brought Rivera on in relief of Dwight Gooden.

Rivera faced seven hitters but retired only two, allowing RBI singles to Mike Sweeney and Jose Offerman, and then a two-run, game-ending double to Keith Lockhart.

It would be the only hit that Lockhart would get in 11 plate appearances against Rivera. The two would have their final meeting on Oct. 27, 1999. This time, Rivera would retire Lockhart on a fly ball to left field for the final out of the World Series.

• That game is one of only two blown saves Rivera has against the Royals. His other came on Aug. 18, 1998, a game the Yankees would win in extra innings.

• Rivera’s streak of nearly 15 years without a blown save is his longest current streak years-wise against any American League team (other than the Astros, against whom he has never blown a save chance).

• Rivera has converted his past 29 saves against the Royals, the longest streak against the franchise by any pitcher.

That streak of 29 straight saves is his second-longest versus any single team. He converted 33 straight save opportunities against the Rays from 1998 to 2005.

• Rivera’s 1.68 ERA against the Royals is his fourth-best ERA against an AL team (not counting the Astros). The three teams that rank ahead of the Royals are all AL Central teams: the Tigers (0.77), White Sox (1.21), and Twins (1.26).

• Rivera has allowed only seven extra-base hits (four doubles, three homers) in 69 2/3 innings against the Royals. That is tied with the Twins for his fewest extra-base hits given up versus any AL team (excluding the Astros).

They said it
"I'm coming back. Put it down. Write it down in big letters. I ain't going down like this."
-- Rivera, the day after his ACL injury in Kansas City last season

Magic ‘Mo’ments
Returning to the scene of his season-ending ACL injury suffered in 2012, Rivera notched saves in back-to-back Yankees wins over the Royals on May 11 and 12 of this season.

One Mo Time: Rivera vs. Athletics

June, 11, 2013
6/11/13
11:00
AM ET
Jeff Carlick/Getty ImagesMariano Rivera pitches against the A's, circa 1998.
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 Oakland Athletics.


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


Regular Season
2.27 ERA
35 saves
87 1/3 IP
68 hits allowed
70 strikeouts
25 walks

Postseason (2000 ALDS, 2001 ALDS)
0.00 ERA
5 saves
10 IP
6 hits allowed
6 strikeouts
0 walks


Did you know?
•  Rivera's first career major league win came against the Athletics on May 28, 1995. Rivera pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run. The losing pitcher for the Athletics that day was Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey.

•  Rivera has five career wins versus Oakland. He has more wins versus only two other teams -- Baltimore (8) and Toronto (7).

•  Rivera has 35 saves versus the A's, the most by any pitcher in history (and one more than Troy Percival).

•  Rivera has saved his past 12 opportunities against the Athletics. That is tied with Joakim Soria and David Aardsma for the longest active save streak versus the A's.

•  Rivera pitched 3 2/3 innings in relief without allowing a hit versus the Athletics on Sept. 1, 1995. It was not only his first career no-hit appearance in the majors, it was his most innings pitched in his career without giving up a hit.

•  From Aug. 23, 1996, to April 27, 2001, Rivera pitched against the Athletics 23 times (including postseason) and allowed a run in only one game. That span encompassed 29 innings in which Rivera allowed only one run.

•  All five of Rivera's postseason saves against the Athletics were at least four outs. The only other team he has five postseason saves of at least four outs against is the Red Sox.

•  Rivera is 5-for-5 in save chances in the postseason against the A's. That matches his most postseason saves without a blown save against any team (he is also 5-for-5 versus the Angels and Rangers).

•  Rivera has allowed five walk-off home runs in his career, but arguably the most shocking came against the Athletics on April 15, 2007: a three-run, two-out homer by Marco Scutaro on an 0-2 count with the Athletics trailing by two runs.

That is the only one of the walk-off hits against Rivera to come on an 0-2 count.

•  Rivera has hit six of the 357 A's batters he has faced. The only team he has hit more times is the Red Sox (10 of 524 batters).

•  Rivera allowed seven runs in four innings in a start against the A's on June 6, 1995. That's the most runs he's allowed in any game in his career.


They said it
"The best way for me to describe him is to describe watching our hitters if we were trailing the Yankees and didn't score in the eighth inning ... to see how dejected they were knowing that they would have to face him in the ninth inning. It was like, 'Game Over.'"
-- former Oakland Athletics pitcher and current ESPN analyst Mark Mulder


Magic 'Mo'ments
•  Rivera became the full-time closer for the Yankees at the start of the 1997 season after the Yankees let John Wetteland leave as a free agent in the offseason. Rivera's first save as the team's closer that year came against the A's on April 5, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

•  When the Yankees came back from a 2-0 series deficit to beat the Athletics in the 2001 ALDS, it was Rivera who was on the mound at the end, striking out Greg Myers and Eric Byrnes to end Game 5 and cap the remarkable comeback.

One Mo Time (Rivera vs. Mariners)

June, 6, 2013
6/06/13
11:00
AM ET
AP Photo/Elaine ThompsonMariano Rivera was a happy man after recording his 600th save in Seattle.
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 Seattle Mariners.


By the Numbers
Mariano Rivera’s career stats versus Mariners
2.70 ERA
35 saves
76 2/3 IP
57 hits allowed
77 strikeouts
23 walks

Postseason
1.23 ERA
2 wins, 3 saves
14 2/3 IP
9 hits allowed
12 strikeouts
2 walks

Did you know?
Rivera’s 35 saves (in 37 chances) are the most of anyone against the Mariners. Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley ranks second with 32. Francisco Rodriguez has the next most among active pitchers with 24.

Rivera had 27 straight regular-season save conversions against the Mariners from 1998 to 2009, the longest streak by any pitcher against them. Rivera has had longer save streaks against two teams -- a 33-save streak against the Rays and a 29-gamer against the Royals.

He has been on the mound for 10 postseason clinchers at Yankee Stadium. There are two teams he has clinched a postseason series at home against twice -- the Braves and the Mariners.

Mariners right-handed batters have one hit in their past 28 at-bats (.036 BA) against Rivera, dating to May 2007. The lone hit was a pinch-hit double by Mike Sweeney on Sept. 18, 2009. Rivera blew the save in that game -- one of just two blown saves against the Mariners -- when current teammate Ichiro Suzuki hit a two-run walk-off homer following Sweeney's double.

What will almost certainly be Mariano's final start as a major leaguer came versus the Mariners on Sept. 5, 1995. He allowed five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings in the loss. He became a full-time member of the bullpen the following week and hasn't started a game since. Rivera is 3-3 with a 5.94 ERA in 10 career starts.

His shortest start was a 2 1/3 inning stint against the Mariners on June 11, 1995, which included a three-run homer by Edgar Martinez.

Rivera has allowed eight home runs in 76 2/3 innings against the Mariners. The only team he has allowed more homers against is the Orioles -- 11 homers in almost twice as many innings pitched (135 2/3).

He is 0-2 against the Mariners in Safeco Field, matching Tropicana Field for his worst winless mark at any ballpark.

Rivera has issued seven intentional walks to the Mariners, the most of any team in his career. Six of those seven came from 1996-2004, including two to Martinez and two to Paul Sorrento.

They said it
“I remember thinking how uncomfortable I was at bat against him with the game on the line. Mariano is well prepared when he takes the ball. You know he is not going to make a mistake. He is a true professional.” -- Edgar Martinez

Magic ‘Mo’ment
Rivera’s postseason debut came in Game 2 of the 1995 American League Division Series against the Mariners and set the tone for his future postseason work. He pitched 3 1/3 innings of relief, allowing zero runs on two hits with five strikeouts. The Yankees would win the game for Rivera on Jim Leyritz’s home run in the 15th inning.

Rivera would have one more key moment in that series, in relief of David Cone with the bases loaded, two outs and the score tied in the eighth inning of Game 5. Rivera struck out Mike Blowers on three pitches to keep the game even.

Rivera would also record a milestone save against the Mariners, becoming the second pitcher in major league history to reach 600 saves when he got the final three outs in a 3-2 win over the Mariners on Sept. 13, 2011. After two strikeouts by Rivera, the game ended when Ichiro was caught stealing at second base.

One Mo time: Rivera vs. Indians

June, 3, 2013
6/03/13
11:00
AM ET

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.

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