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2+ XBH Allowed In Same Game By Mariano Rivera

Posted by Steve Lombardi on August 8, 2011

To date, Mo Rivera has pitched in 1,023 regular season baseball games.  And, in only 24 of those 1,023 games has he allowed more than one extra base hit in the contest.  It's a pretty amazing feat.  Here are those 24 games:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR XBH Pit Str GSc IR IS BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS PO BK WP ERA WPA RE24 aLI
1 1995-05-23 NYY CAL L 0-10 GS-4 ,L 3.1 8 5 5 3 5 1 3 89 50 26     21 18 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13.50 -0.219 -3.323 1.035
2 1995-05-28 NYY OAK W 4-1 GS-6 ,W 5.1 7 1 1 3 1 0 2 103 62 48     26 23 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.69 0.129 1.413 .945
3 1995-06-06 NYY OAK L 6-8 GS-4 ,L 4.0 7 7 7 1 3 2 2 88 53 22     21 19 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 15.75 -0.416 -4.745 .906
4 1995-07-09 NYY TEX L 4-5 GS-6 6.0 6 3 3 0 2 1 3 87 58 50     25 25 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.50 -0.013 0.514 1.075
5 1995-07-16 NYY MIN W 5-1 GS-6 ,W 6.0 6 1 1 1 5 0 2 101 63 60     25 23 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1.50 0.218 2.363 .837
6 1995-07-26 NYY KCR L 5-6 GS-6 5.0 7 3 3 1 3 1 2 103 69 43     23 22 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5.40 -0.059 -0.148 .913
7 1995-08-01 NYY MIL W 7-5 6-7 ,BW 2.0 3 3 3 2 2 1 2 45 23   0 0 11 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 13.50 -0.371 -1.873 1.920
8 1995-09-05 NYY SEA L 5-6 GS-5 ,L 4.1 7 5 5 3 5 2 4 85 52 31     22 19 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 10.38 -0.133 -1.428 .785
9 1996-09-19 (2) NYY BAL L 9-10 8-8 ,L 0.1 4 3 3 0 0 0 2 20 14   0 0 5 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 81.00 -0.421 -3.158 1.488
10 1997-05-08 NYY TEX W 5-4 8-9f ,S 1.2 4 1 1 1 3 0 2 43 29   2 1 10 9 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5.40 0.164 -0.477 3.784
11 1997-09-16 (2) NYY BOS W 4-3 9-9f ,S 1.0 2 1 1 0 1 0 2 16 11   0 0 5 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9.00 0.082 -0.445 1.686
12 1998-05-13 NYY TEX W 8-6 8-9f ,S 1.1 3 0 0 0 2 0 2 26 16   0 0 7 7 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.109 0.665 1.844
13 1998-07-18 NYY TOR W 10-3 9-9f 1.0 2 2 2 1 0 2 2 28 15   0 0 6 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 18.00 0.000 -1.434 .008
14 1999-04-15 NYY BAL L 7-9 9-9f ,L 1.0 3 2 2 2 1 0 2 30 15   0 0 8 6 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 18.00 -0.392 -1.422 1.625
15 1999-07-06 NYY DET W 9-8 8-9 ,BW 1.2 2 2 2 0 2 1 2 26 17   2 2 8 6 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 10.80 -0.352 -2.150 2.560
16 2000-04-19 NYY TEX W 5-4 8-10f,BW 2.2 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 37 24   1 0 11 9 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6.75 0.057 -0.013 3.361
17 2000-08-18 NYY ANA L 8-9 9-10 ,BS 1.2 3 2 2 0 2 1 2 37 27   3 3 8 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10.80 -0.150 -2.736 1.590
18 2000-09-09 NYY BOS W 5-3 9-9f 1.0 3 2 2 0 3 0 3 24 18   0 0 6 6 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 18.00 0.026 -1.378 .628
19 2002-07-14 NYY CLE L 7-10 9-9f ,BL 0.2 5 6 6 1 1 1 2 32 17   0 0 8 7 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 81.00 -0.956 -2.264 4.939
20 2004-07-24 NYY BOS L 10-11 8-9f ,BL 0.2 3 3 3 0 0 1 2 15 9   1 0 5 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 40.50 -0.839 -0.743 2.998
21 2007-08-15 NYY BAL L 3-6 10-10f,L 1.0 3 3 3 0 0 1 3 26 19   0 0 6 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 27.00 -0.452 -2.444 1.165
22 2009-05-07 NYY TBR L 6-8 9-9 ,L 0.2 2 2 2 0 1 2 2 24 16   0 0 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 27.00 -0.399 -1.551 1.293
23 2009-09-18 NYY SEA L 2-3 9-9f ,BL 0.2 2 2 2 0 2 1 2 14 11   0 0 4 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 27.00 -0.797 0.184 3.263
24 2010-05-21 NYY NYM W 2-1 9-9f ,S 1.0 2 1 1 0 0 0 2 16 12   0 0 5 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9.00 0.085 -0.527 1.992
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/8/2011.

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 8th, 2011 at 9:43 am and is filed under Game Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

35 Responses to “2+ XBH Allowed In Same Game By Mariano Rivera”

  1. He started ten games his first season. It's surprising he didn't give up at least two extra base hits in any of those games.

  2. @Bart - he did. He gave up 2+ XBH in seven of those ten games, according to the game logs; not too unusual if he's facing 20 or so batters, I suppose.

    Notable in those games is Rivera giving up two homers to the A's on 6/6/95, including a granny to Geronimo Berroa; allowing a triple and a homer to Juan Gonzalez against the Rangers on July 9; and a career-worst four xbh in his last career start, September 5th against Seattle (2 db, 2 hr).

    Future teammates Chili Davis, Scott Brosius, and Chuck Knoblauch hit doubles off him during that stretch, and he gave up a dinger to Luis Sojo in the last start.

    In between all that, he had his best career start on July 4, 1995, in Chicago, blowing away the White Sox with 11 K in eight shutout innings, allowing four walks and two hits - both singles by Frank Thomas.

  3. @1 Bart, look at his game logs. In 7 of his 10 starts he gave up multiple XBH. Since he has pitched in 1023 games including starts, the title and text must not accurately describe the actual PI search. Steve?

  4. There must have been a problem with my query! I am now updating the post. It should be 24 games - not six. Mea culpa!

  5. I use the blog entries to try to recreate the result and teach myself how to use the Play Index. In this case, I was coming up with 17 (as a reliever), which is still an incredible number, about one per season. I couldn't figure out where the discrepancy was coming from, though. As a lurker, I was loath to call out Scott publicly, especially if I had made a mistake I wasn't seeing. My result:

    http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/4Hhfq

  6. @Steve - I just figured it was a typo and you meant to talk only about his relief appearances. But since someone mentioned his starts I went ahead and did a little research. If anything, it showed how he had been struggling early as a starter, though in just ten games as a rookie, it's hard to say with certainty that he could never have mastered the role.

    I work with a lot of Yankees fans, so it's a fun debate that pops up from time to time - would they have been better-served letting Mariano ride out his early struggles to become an effective starter?

  7. John Autin Says:

    Even more impressive if you look at his postseason results. Only once in 94 games did he allow 2+ extra-base hits -- a pair of doubles while holding a lead in a non-save situation, in the 2000 ALCS clincher over Seattle.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA200010170.shtml

  8. John Autin Says:

    @6, Nightfly -- I also wonder about the potential added value of Mariano as a starter.

    But then -- even though I'm not a Yankee fan -- I look at his postseason record, and I think the entire era would have been quite different without him closing those games. He's 42 for 47 in the postseason, with a staggering 31 of those saves coming in stints of more than 1 inning, 14 of them covering 2 full innings.

    In the World Series, he's gone 11 for 12 in save chances, going more than 1 inning in 9 of the 11 saves. The 2 runs he allowed in his famous blown save are the only ones he's allowed in a WS save opp.

    I do think closing is overrated. But given that the Yanks have pretty much always spent freely to fill the rotation, enabling them to get to the postseason, I think the value Mariano has provided once they get there is enough to end the debate. Wouldn't you have to assume that they'd have won at least one less title with anyone else closing?

  9. Steve, my guess would be that 17 times in 1013 games in relief would rate very well, but I would like to see him compared to other long career relievers to see how Mo ranks.

  10. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Trevor Hoffman: 39 times in 1035 games.
    Billy Wagner: 18 times in 853 games
    Jon Papelbon: 14 times in 377 games.
    Eric Gagne, 2002-04: 4 times in 224 games

    Not really comparable because of their longer outings, but

    Hoyt Wilhelm: 49 times in 1018 games.
    Goose Gossage: 49 times in 965 games

  11. Last night's game-winner would/could/should have been a double by Josh Reddick, but he peeled off once he touched first and the winning run crossed the plate. So the game doesn't make this list, but it did meet the criteria, for all practical purposes. Some hard hit balls off the master in that inning!

  12. Thanks, JT. I was just about to try to find other guys to get some context as to Rivera's achievement. Remarkable.

  13. PhilM-

    The 10th inning was pitched by Phil Hughes.

  14. But, yes, I'd venture to guess there might be a small handful of games where a player hit a ball that might otherwise have been an XBH but was cut short because it was a walk-off. There is also the question of appearances that were "cut short" because the pitcher (Rivera or whomever) allowed the game to end in walk-off fashion. I'm not sure if it is worth considering those games differently because of how the pitcher's day ended or not, but I suppose it is something to think about.

  15. To further shine the apple (as if that were needed), Rivera has allowed 2+ XBH exactly once (Game 6 of 2000 ALCS) in 94 post-season games.

    Also, if you just look at just 2001 to date, it's happened only 6 times in 694 games, less than 1% of appearances, a much lower rate than any of the very fine comparables JT provided @10.

  16. Old Hoyt is pretty close with just over twice as many games (49 ; 24) where this happened in almost twice as many innings (2254 ; 1193)

  17. @John Autin - I'm a Mets fan. One needs only one visit to the Armando Benitez Funhouse to know the value Mariano has had as a closer, especially in the postseason.

    My thinking is more along the lines of, what if the Yankees decided to fill in closers the way they filled in their rotation all those years, deciding that Mariano had potential as a 2d/3d starter?

    The Yankees could have kept John Wettland, who was excellent in '98 and '99, and still reasonably effective in 2000. It's a net subtraction, but not by much, especially if Wettland loses the closing job in 2000 and pitches in lower-leverage situations. Maybe they decide to pick up Rob Nen in the Florida fire sale and they get his 1998-2002 record.... he was only 3 WAR short of Mo for those five years.

    In that case, Mo has to be as effective a starter as, say, Orlando Hernandez. His '98-'02 is about the same in terms of WAR (15.0) as Rivera (14.7), pitching 459 more innings. You could also put Andy Pettitte in there - he was a steady 3 WAR guy from '98-'03.

  18. @10.

    Re: Mariano's walk-off games.

    There haven't been many. This is what I found in PI, just for his relief appearances. Rivera has 22 losses in finished road games, 19 of them pitching in the 9th inning or later.

    These games include ALL of his blown saves (16 of them) in finished road games that his team lost. So, he has never finished a road game where he blew the save, but someone else took the loss (think about that). This makes sense since seldom enters a game in the 9th with inherited runners (more often, this happen when he enters in the 8th).

    Post-season, it's happened only once - the forever memorable game 7 in 2001.

    So, that's 19 times with a walk-off loss in 1013 relief appearances, or 20 times in 1107 appearances, including post-season. Don't think it's likely to materially affect the XBH assessment.

  19. To add some more names:

    Francisco Rodriguez: 19 times in 583 games
    J.J. Putz: 13 times in 436 games
    Joe Nathan (as a reliever-he had 29 career starts): 15 times in 537 games
    Jason Isringhausen (as a reliever-he had 52 career starts): 21 times in 613 games
    B.J. Ryan: 12 times in 560 games
    Heath Bell: 8 times in 416 games
    Rafael Soriano: 8 times in 356 games
    Grant Balfour: 8 times in 305 games
    Joakim Soria: 7 times in 286 games
    Ray King: 7 times in 593 games (411 innings)
    George Sherrill: 3 times in 434 games (319 innings)
    Carlos Marmol: 4 times in 356 games
    Eric O'Flaherty: 4 times in 268 games

    If I had time, I would make a list on PI of relievers with 400+ games, and then put them back in to see who has the fewest games with >=2 XBH...

  20. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Genis, I'm not sure you'd be able to do that search because you need the Game Finder and I don't think you can search on saved reports in the Game Finder. Maybe I'm overlooking something.

    Here's another way of looking at it. Pitchers since 1970 with at least 500 G, at least 90% in relief, ranked by lowest ISO (SLG minus BA). Rivera is 2nd at .079, just behind Greg Minton(!). The median of 152 qualified pitchers is .128.
    http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/Q3rXV

    Minton had a solid career with a very nice stretch in the late 70s/early 80s. He gave up multiple XBH 25 times in 703 relief games.

  21. @19 Genis, that sounds very interesting, I'll try to work on that this evening. Also, since I'm such a huge B-Weez fan, Wilson has 10 in 309 games (which surprised me given that he always seems to make things so interesting)

  22. @20-You may be right, I was just guessing that there would be some way to do it, but I haven't tried the mult-PI search option (not sure what its called exactly) yet.

    @21-I think that some of those closers that do make it interesting (Wilson, Izzy, Marmol) are mostly due to walks, but they have good stuff that makes it hard for batters to get the meat of their bat on the ball.

  23. That 2002 game! OUCH! I bet he doesn't have trouble remembering that game. The earlier start games aside, 6 earned runs in less than an inning as a reliever? Damn, wonder if he mighta had a game where he gave up 6 earned, with less than 2 XBHs? The 2002 game obviously didn't effect his game! I am not a Yankees admirer, but the guy is incredible. And he's doing a great 'Hoffman in his next-to-last year' impression.

  24. @20.

    Interesting list, JT.

    Among those on the list, Rivera is first in OPS with .552 and a slash of .211 / .262 / .290. Right behind is Billy Wagner with .558 on a very similar .187 / .262 / .296.

    Number 3 is Francisco Rodriguez, 40 points back at .598, and it goes up from there. Minton, 1st is ISO, ranks only 39th in OPS at .666 .

  25. @23.

    "wonder if he mighta had a game where he gave up 6 earned, with less than 2 XBHs"

    Answer is No. The 2002 game is his only 6+ ER game as a reliver - he allowed a double and a HR. Rivera also had one 6+ ER game as a starter, allowing 2 HRs.

  26. Rivera is playing good ball right now, you know who else is playing good ball, Juan Pierre, Mike Young, and Carlos Zambrano. Those 3 guys are playing real well, and also Paul Konerko is 9 HR away from 400, Paully is my hero.

  27. I wonder if Kosuke Fukudome and Shin-Soo Choo are getting along?

  28. this isn't related, but bob gibson's player page is not reflecting that his 0.85 WHIP led the league in 1968

  29. Is it accurate to characterize Mariano Rivera as another "failed" starter turned closer?

    Are the last few years the first time in baseball history where young pitchers are developed and groomed specifically as career closers, other than Joe Nathan previously? I'm thinking of Neftali Feliz, Jordan Walden, Drew Storen, and Craig Kimbrel.

    It will be interesting to observe how this crop of young guns stand the test of time, as closers, without ever having cutting their major-league teeth starting or middle-relieving.

    Closers with more than a few years of effectiveness are very rare.

  30. I would be curious to see how Mariano compares against the top 50 or 100 most games played (possibly with a GS cut to remove Walter Johnson, Nolan Ryan, etc.) on a % with 0-1 XBH in a game.

  31. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Neil, Feliz was developed as a SP, and was almost moved back there just this spring.

  32. @31
    JT, oh!

    So do you know of any pitchers that were viewed as closers from their draft day? What's behind my question is is a good closer, like Rivera, "developed", "discoverd" or "naturally evolved"?

    Is starting still viewed as preferable to closing?

  33. Johnny Twisto Says:

    There have definitely been some guys drafted as closers in recent seasons, often with the hopes of getting them to the majors in that role quickly. Chad Cordero. Huston Street. Craig Hansen (oops).

    I think not long ago most relievers were still failed starters, but there is a greater emphasis now on actually developing guys as relievers. Whether they will pan out as well is a good question.

    It would be interesting to look at how top relievers of today and recent years got to where they are. I can't do it right now but I will try to come back to this.

  34. Trevor Hoffman had 39 multiple XBH games in 1,035 appearances. Jonathan Papelbon has 15 in 381 appearances. Both impressive, but not Mo-like.

  35. Way after the fact, but Mariano threw one too many cutters to Abreu tonight, even if the Yankees bail him out for the win in the bottom of the ninth!