Mariano Rivera quietly made history on Tuesday night
Although Mariano Rivera blew a save against the Mets on Tuesday night, he managed to make history.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera blew his first save of the season on Tuesday night, as the Mets got to him for two runs on three hits in the bottom of the ninth before he could record even a single out. It's the first time in his 19-year-old career he failed a record an out in a save situation.
The sudden comeback by the Mets overshadowed a pretty remarkable piece of history. The two-run, zero-out outing was the 1,072nd pitching appearance of Rivera's career, moving him ahead of Dennis Eckersley and into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time list. Here are the 15 members of the 1,000-appearance club, courtesy of Baseball-Reference:
- Jesse Orosco -- 1,525 games
- Mike Stanton -- 1,178
- John Franco -- 1,119
- Mariano Rivera -- 1,072
- Dennis Eckersley -- 1,071
- Hoyt Wilhelm -- 1,070
- Dan Plesac -- 1,064
- Mike Timlin -- 1,058
- Kent Tekulve -- 1,050
- Trevor Hoffman -- 1,035
- Jose Mesa -- 1,022
- Lee Smith -- 1,022
- Roberto Hernandez -- 1,010
- Michael Jackson -- 1,005
- Goose Gossage -- 1,002
Notice anything about the three guys ahead of Rivera? Well, they're all left-handed. By breaking the tie with Eckersley, Mo has now appeared in more games than any other right-handed pitcher in baseball history.
Maybe I'm the only one who finds that interesting. After all, Rivera has modern reliever usage to thank for the record as much as his own greatness. If saves hadn't become a thing a few decades ago, bullpens wouldn't be where they are today. I still think it's amazing that no other righty has pitched in more games than Rivera. This game is crazy old.
Just in case you're curious, the Mets' LaTroy Hawkins is second to Rivera on the active appearances list with 893. The Rays' Kyle Farnsworth (827) and the Tigers' Octavio Dotel (758) are next. All three of those guys were Rivera's teammates at one point, oddly enough.
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