Blog Entry

Grand slams and Rivera: Some perspective

Posted on: May 17, 2010 11:50 am
Edited on: May 17, 2010 11:52 am
 
Yes, it was shocking to see Mariano Rivera serve up a grand slam. We all raced to the history books.

We were all amazed that he had only given up one previous grand slam in his career as a full-time relief pitcher.

And we shouldn't have been.

Outstanding closers -- even those on a level just below the Great Rivera -- don't give up grand slams. Joe Nathan has never allowed one, in 533 appearances. Jonathan Papelbon has allowed one, in 284 relief appearances.

Trevor Hoffman, who has pitched in 998 games (Rivera has 920 relief appearances), didn't allow his first slam until this year (Ryan Doumit of the Pirates, on April 27). Dennis Eckersley allowed one in 710 relief appearances. Troy Percival, Rollie Fingers and John Franco allowed two apiece, as have Billy Wagner and Francisco Cordero (all research done through baseball-reference.com ).

Rivera is great, the best ever at his job. But it's not the lack of grand slams that proves it.



Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 1:18 pm
 

Grand slams and Rivera: Some perspective




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2012 12:53 am
 

Grand slams and Rivera: Some perspective




Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 24, 2011 1:48 am
 

Grand slams and Rivera: Some perspective

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 7:58 pm
 

Grand slams and Rivera: Some perspective




Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 1:17 am
 

Grand slams and Rivera: Some perspective




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 7:48 pm
 

Grand slams and Rivera: Some perspective

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Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 12:01 pm
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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 1:12 am
 

Grand slams and Rivera: Some perspective

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Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2010 7:46 pm
 

Grand slams and Rivera: Some perspective

Agreed.

In the age of the 1 inning save, most of the great closers don't/can't get themselves into a bases-loaded jam all that often anyway. Rivera differs from the others you mention in that he comes in much more to close out the 8th than they ever did (from my unresearched perspective). Yesterday was a case where he came into a mess to begin with.

Exactly as you said. He's great. The Grand Slam stat doesn't mean that much. Take a look at his post season statistics. They're unfathomably good...especially considering he's supposedly facing the best of the best when appearing in the post season.


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