03-11-2013, 11:42 AM #1
What is your favorite #MoMoment?
With Mariano Rivera announcing his retirement this weekend, the game will lose its most legendary specialist at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
Looking back, Rivera dominating the Twins for nearly two decades, throwing mid-90s cutters to shatter an entire forest of bats, and was only shackled with the loss to the Twins just three times in his career:
(1) Denny Hocking singled up the middle at Yankee Stadium to score Torii Hunter in the top of the 9th for a 2-1 victory.
(2) In 2001, once again at the big ballpark in the Bronx, Yankees catcher Joe Oliver allowed a Rivera pitch to scoot by him and AJ Pierzynski scooted home for the go-ahead run.
(3) At the Dome in 2006, with Luis Castillo and Joe Mauer on second and third with two outs, Justin Morneau chips a broken back single into right to score the tying and winning runs.
Then there is the Jason Kubel grand slam in 2010. While this one shot in the top of the eighth inning (yes, at 40 years old, Rivera was being asked for two-inning saves) put the Twins out-front, it would be Joba Chamberlain who would be credited with the loss since he put the first two runners on base.
To me, it was the Morneau walk-off that stands as the best achievement the Twins had against the elite closer. Although a bit past his prime, Rivera was still hucking mid-90s fastballs at home and missing plenty of bats.
Without question, this competitor will surely be missed.
03-11-2013, 02:55 PM #2
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It was yet another heartbreaking extra innings loss to the Yankees, but this 2008 game certainly had an unlikely hero in Delmon Young, pushing it to extra frames:
August 12, 2008 New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins Play by Play and Box Score - Baseball-Reference.com
03-12-2013, 12:10 AM #3
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Great blog. I wonder what his save % against the Twins has been.
03-13-2013, 02:52 AM #4
As much as he's hurt the Twins over his career, I honestly have to tip my hat to the man- and not just because of his dominant cutter or impressive stats. What I've always admired most about Mo is his demeanor on the mound. He never celebrates with wild gestures after a victory, and he never pouts or acts openly upset in defeat. He is always humble and respectful. You could teach many, many people a lesson not just in pitching but in life by telling them to observe Mo.
With closers celebrating wildly and developing patented victory dances, it's guys like Mo I'll really miss. Sad to see him go- even if it benefits the Twins, it hurts the game.
03-13-2013, 01:10 PM #5
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when I played against him in Panama before he got signed by the Yankees. First year I played again his team, he was his team's shortstop just like I was my team's shortstop.
The next year they decided to pitch him. I faced him a few times, never got a hit off him, and he was signed by the Yankees.
03-14-2013, 10:30 AM #6
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A few facts about Mo and the Twins courtesy of Mariano Rivera Career Batting Splits - Baseball-Reference.com
The Twins own the 2nd lowest OPS (AL teams) vs Mo at .449. The Tigers are by far the worst at .364. That's dreadfully awful.
The Twins have the 3rd lowest ERA (AL teams) vs Mo at 1.30. The Tigers were lowest with 0.78 ERA and a grand total of 5ER's in his career. The White Sox barely edged out the Twins for 2nd.
He went 4-3 with 33 saves against the Twins. In 69.1 innings he gave up 10ER's and only 2 HR's.
He started once against the Twins as a rookie in 1995 going 6 innings allowing 1ER. He only made 10 game starts that year putting up a 5.94 ERA. He also appeared in 9 games as a reliever and the following year he became a dominant RP'er.
I might hate the Yankees but I can't hate Mo.
03-14-2013, 11:04 AM #7
I was at that game where Kubel hit that Grand Slam, the best part is the 11 previous games I had been to at Yankee Stadium I had seen the Twins lose.
Man that was ****ing awesome!