Mariano Rivera Now Has 31 Saves Thus Far This Season

Thursday, August 06 2009 @ 08:33 AM EDT

Contributed by: Don Winner

By DON WINNER for - Mariano Rivera, the star closing pitcher for the New York Yankees, has already racked up 31 saves in the 2009 Major League Baseball season. Consider this - the New York Yankees as a team now have the most saves of any team in baseball with a grand total of 35, meaning somebody else got the other four. What, did Mariano have a cold or something? And predictably, Mariano Rivera as an individual now has the most saves of any pitcher in baseball this season, both American and National leagues. In his 31 saves he's pitched a total of 46 innings and thrown 50 strikeouts while giving up only 35 hits and 6 walks. The Yankees, who are now in first place in the AL East and 2.5 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox, still have 54 regular season games left to play. Predictably, when the Yankees are playing well as a team and winning, then Mariano gets more saves because his team presents him with more save opportunities. If Mariano Rivera (and the Yankees) maintain this pace he could finish out the year with 46 saves or more, another dominating year for the 39 year-old right handed pitcher. In the Trevor Hoffman vs. Mariano Rivera duel for first place on the all time career saves list, Hoffman, who will turn 42 in October, has 25 saves this season and 579 career, or 66 more than Mariano River who now has 513 total. When Hoffman finally retires, it will probably take Mariano Rivera another 1.5 seasons to catch and then pass Hoffman to take possession of this amazing pitching record, a feat I expect he will accomplish in July of 2011. Even if you're not a Yankee's fan, or a fan of baseball for that matter, it's still worth it to tune into a Yankee's game in the 8th inning if they are winning, just watch one of greatest athletes in the history at work. Look for broken bats, a strikeout, he might give up one hit, a fly ball, then a grounder to retire the side. I've seen it happen so many times it's become machine-like. Goodnight, Irene, the Sandman is here...

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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