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August 30, 2013

Raising Aces

A Closer Look at Relievers

by Doug Thorburn


Relief pitchers have been in vogue lately, whether carving out air time on TINSTAAPP or funking up Raising Aces. The RP-Funk All-Stars may have all hailed from the senior circuit, but some of the most impressive performances of the season have come from the American League. Ninth-inning relievers have been dominating hitters and shortening games all across the AL, as no fewer than five different closers entered Thursday's action with an ERA under 2.00. Although he falls just short of inclusion to that particular club this season, we start the show with none other than the greatest stopper of all time.

(all stats through 8/28/13, PITCHf/x stats are courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net)

Mariano Rivera
Mariano's farewell tour provides an opportunity to doff my cap to his marvelous career, and the ageless one is virtually the same pitcher now, at age 43, that he has been throughout his tenure as the end-game strategy in the Bronx.

IP

ERA

WHIP

K%

BB%

H%

HR%

49.0

2.20

1.18

21.8%

4.5%

24.3%

2.5%

The 2.20 ERA is excellent, sitting more than 80 percent better than league average, but what is even more incredible is the fact that it is his highest mark of the past six seasons. Mo has posted a sub-3.00 ERA in 17 of his 19 big-league seasons, and finished under the 2.00 mark in eight of the last 11 campaigns. He has been more hittable this season, leading to his highest WHIP since 1997, but 2013 has otherwise been par for the course for a pitcher whose career K-to-walk ratio is better than four-to-one.

Pitch Type

Count

Freq

Velo (mph)

pfx HMov (in.)

pfx VMov (in.)

H. Rel (ft.)

V. Rel (ft.)

Sinker

78

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (08/30)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Raising Aces: The RP-F... (08/23)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Raising Aces: Taijuan ... (09/06)
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Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (08/30)

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