I get nervous when Rivera pitches more than the 9th. Sure, he loves to pitch. When does a reliever turn down a chance to pitch? Seriously, I’m really curious. Does anyone in the pen ever tell Mel "Hey, you know I’m always ready — but 5 days in a row might be pushing it." What if Quantrill had spoken up last year, or in years prior? (It wouldn’t be the first time a Dodger manager burned-out an arm) Maybe we’d still be going with confidence to our most reliable righty set-up man since Mendoza.
Not that Mo’s been overtaxed lately. And, he hasn’t given up a run in a long while. SHOULDN’T THAT TELL US SOMETHING? The man does WELL when he’s not overused.
Against every instinct, I thanked God Mariano replaced Gordon in the 8th. It took 6 bullets to strike out Larry Walker, with runners on 2nd and 3rd, and Pujols up next. 6 to pop out Pujols in the bottom of the 9th. 4 to strike out Sanders, and 4 to strike out Grudzialanek for the game.
Yankees 5 Cardinals 0 Johnson W Mulder L Rivera SV (14)
It wouldn’t be right to be glad Gordon got hurt.* But those were scary at-bats. He does NOT handle pressure well. I was gratified to come across Bernard Ozarowski‘s comments on Gordon’s 2004 playoff stats (6.97 ERA) and record against the Red Sox (8.10 ERA).
I do miss last year’s Quan-Gor-Mo. Poor Flash Gordon. You still remember your curve, right? Please!
*But WHY would he use his THROWING HAND to protect his FACE? At least Kevin Brown used his glove hand to punch out the wall last year. Would that it had been gloved!