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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

BUT THE MAN ON THE MOUND WAS NO ORDINARY PITCHER---NY Times

(NY Times, 6/21/06): "There was every reason for the pitcher to fear the hitter. The hitter, Ryan Howard, had two home runs, which had traveled a total of 882 feet, and a triple. He had driven in all seven runs for the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • But the man on the mound was no ordinary pitcher. It was Mariano Rivera, who was winning World Series rings when Howard was still in high school. Rivera fears no one.

"Get him out," Rivera said. "That's it. Get him out. You have to win the game. I ain't going to run."

Working his second inning of a game the Yankees badly needed, Rivera took some quick advice from the pitching coach, Ron Guidry, who told him not to give Howard anything good to hit. Rivera buried a cutter on Howard,

  • who swung and tapped meekly to second to end the game.

The Yankees, who did not have a lead until the eighth inning, escaped with a 9-7 victory, with contributions from many corners....

  • The victory snapped a three-game losing streak.

"We needed a win any way we could get it," Derek Jeter said. "We played well, we battled back — we beat Howard. That's all you can do."

If history is a guide, the Yankees probably won the game when the bullpen door opened before the start of the eighth inning. Out came Arthur Rhodes, a pitcher the Yankees have thrashed for years.

  • Howard's two-run triple off Mike Myers in the seventh inning had just broken a 5-5 tie....

Rivera had not pitched since a loss Saturday, and Manager

  • Joe Torre bypassed Kyle Farnsworth, who threw 33 pitches Monday.

After using four others in relief of Mike Mussina, Torre chose to go with Rivera.

"It's not something I liked doing, but I thought the game was important, and we have an off-day Thursday," Torre said. "I took my chances."

  • "He wasn't supposed to swing," Jeter said, laughing. "I guess he wasn't going down like that."...

There was more important work ahead, and when David Dellucci flared* a two-out pinch-hit single to left with one on in the ninth, Howard came up as the potential winning run.

For Howard, it was certainly tougher than facing Mussina." From NY Times article by Tyler Kepner, "Howard Has 7 RBI, but Yankees Rally to Win," 6/21/06

It's nice to see Mariano getting some credit at the beginning of this story. The MLB/ESPN definers avoid giving Rivera the credit he deserves. Who's going to correct them? No one.
  • Even the YES network named a player from the other team as 'player of the game.'
*P.S. I also noted this: John Sterling wondered again why
  • Yankee outfielders stand so far out when Mo is pitching as he watched
  • 2 soft fly balls fall in for singles in the 9th inning.
I've heard John Sterling make this reference numerous times over the years. Sterling has seen every pitch Mariano Rivera has thrown--which means in both regular and post season. No one else I know of has done so although Suzyn Waldman comes close. So he speaks with authority on this subject.

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