For 15 years, Mariano Rivera has been the closer for the Yankees. And, for 15 years, Rivera has saved at least 25 games.
Those numbers may not be as impressive as if — or when — he passes Trevor Hoffman for first all-time, but it speaks to unrivaled consistency.
“It’s just how consistent he is, his longevity,” manager Joe Girardi marveled. “To think of anyone being a closer for 15 years is somewhat mind-boggling. You just don’t see it happen very often and to be real effective for 15 years is another story.”
Perhaps more impressive is that Rivera reached it on a day when he loaded the bases during the ninth inning of yesterday’s 7-5 victory over the Athletics.
Rivera was modest in his thoughts on the mark. He paused before contemplating the best way for him to express himself.
“Twenty-five, it’s good,” Rivera said. “I just want to win games. I don’t pay attention to stuff like that, but it’s good.”
If Rivera was modest in his reaction to becoming the first and likely only man to reach 25 saves in 15 straight seasons, some of his teammates weren’t, especially David Robertson, whose mess Rivera was called upon to clean up with two outs in the eighth inning.
Robertson, an All-Star this year, was 12 years old when Rivera began closing games and could not help but be amazed at his teammate’s consistency and durability.