Results tagged ‘ Trevor Hoffman ’
The honors keep coming for Mariano Rivera. The all-time saves leader was honored Monday as the American League Player of the Week. And what a week it was.
It started with Mo getting his 602nd career save Sept. 19 at Yankee Stadium against the Twins as he surpassed Trevor Hoffman for the most career saves. Rivera made three appearances during the week and allowed no runs and one hit with one walk (intentional) and three strikeouts in three innings in chalking up two saves.
Rivera’s record-setting save occurred 15 years and 125 days after he notched his first save May 17, 1996, against the Angels. He has saved 63 more games than any other reliever since and went into Monday night’s game at St. Petersburg, Fla., with 279 more saves than any active pitcher.
At 41, Rivera has shown no signs of slowing up with a 1-2 record, 44 saves and 1.92 ERA. This year marks the 14th time in his career that Mo has made 60 or more appearances in a season. He reached the 40-save plateau for the eighth time and became the first 40-year-old to do so.
Mariano Rivera usually likes to avoid being in the spotlight except when on the mound trying to save a game, but he could not avoid it Sunday. The Yankees staged a pregame ceremony before the first game of a dual-admission doubleheader against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium to pay tribute to the closer’s setting the major league record for saves last week.
The Yankees organization commissioned a Waterford Crystal’s firefighter’s helmet with No. 602, the number that broke the previous mark of 601 saves by Trevor Hoffman, as well as an image of Rivera.
Jorge Posada, the catcher for so many of those saves, presented Rivera on behalf of his teammates a Fire Department of New York helmet, also bearing No. 602. Posada also assisted in unveiling a matted collage featuring 15 of Mo’s Topps bubble gum baseball cards and the title, “Best Ever.”
Steiner Sports gave Rivera a 602 saves collage and a check for $25,000 to the Mariano Rivera Foundation, which is helping with the restoration of the North Avenue Church in New Rochelle.
Be honest, Yankees fans. Weren’t you rooting against them in the bottom of the eighth inning Monday?
A lot of people in the Yankee Stadium crowd of 40,045 were cheering with each out and let up a roar when Nick Swisher grounded into a double play. They had their eye on the bullpen where Mariano Rivera was getting ready to come into the game to the familiar sounds of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.”
The Yankees were ahead, 6-4. If they scored two or more runs, Rivera would have lost the save situation. They had two runners on base in the eighth. If Swisher had put one in the seats, Mo would have had to sit down, and who know how loudly Swish would have booed as he rounded the bases.
The weird thing is that Rivera could never root against his own team. Winning games matters more to him than anything. The more runs the Yankees score the more he likes it. Yet even he understood why everybody was so excited on a day that when a game was not supposed to be played at the Stadium.
Rivera came through and gave those who attended Monday’s rainout makeup game against the Twins a slice of history. With his usual efficiency, Rivera pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning finishing it off with a called third strike with his patented cutter to Minnesota rookie first baseman Chris Parmelee for his 602nd career save.
That makes it official. Rivera is the greatest relief pitcher of all time, which we already knew. He surpassed Trevor Hoffman in career saves that removes any doubts. Not included in that number are the 42 additional saves Rivera has chalked up in postseason play, 42 and counting, just as he has 602 regular-season saves and counting. There are 10 games left on the Yanks’ schedule, and they are going to postseason play again, giving Rivera plenty of opportunities to add to his totals.
You could tell Mo really liked this one. As cool as he was after saves Nos. 600 and 601, this one was different. He could not hide his joy. His wide, toothy smile that he reserves for teammates when they do something special, like when Derek Jeter got his 3,000th hit July 9, was evident as he stood on the mound and accepted congratulations from Jeter, catcher Russell Martin, his long-time previous catcher Jorge Posada, manager Joe Girardi, trainer Gene Monahan and the rest of the Yankees.
Posada told Mo to go back on the mount to acknowledge the cheers of the fans who were clearly rooting for this important Yankee at that point. His wife and sons were in the crowd as well for this big day for their family.
“It felt strange,” Rivera said. “Nobody in front of me, nobody behind me; I never had that before.”
I was thinking Monday about the first time I became aware of Rivera. It was 1993. I was sitting in the Stadium office of then manager Buck Showalter. The Yankees weren’t very good in those days, so you spent more time looking at what was going on down in the minors. Mark Connor, then the Yankees pitching coach, showed me a statistics sheet with Rivera’s figures at Class A Greensboro underlined.
“Keep your eye on this kid,” Mark said. “He’s going to have to put on some weight, but all he does is throw strikes, and he’s coming off elbow surgery.”
From that point on, I regularly checked Rivera’s record when he was in the minors. He showed signs of what was to come with outstanding relief work in the American League Division Series against the Mariners in 1995. The next season, he was a legitimate AL Most Valuable Player candidate for his setup work for closer John Wetteland. Mo finished 12th in the voting, which was the highest ranking of any Yankees player that year, the first time in MVP voting history that a championship team did not have a player finish in the top 10.
I remember a player coming up to me the day after Rivera blew that save in Game 4 of the 1997 ALDS at Cleveland on the eighth-inning home run by Sandy Alomar Jr. Rivera had been calm after the game, reiterating that he would have thrown the same pitch but with different location.
“Wasn’t the closer a little too blasé about what happened yesterday?” the player asked me. “Some of the guys commented on that last night.”
The following spring, I mentioned to Goose Gossage what the player had said about Rivera.
“Whoever that guy was doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Goose said. “That is exactly the attitude a closer has to have. Don’t second-guess yourself and move on to the next game.”
Rivera has done that over and over. I was on the official scoring crew for the 1999 World Series and was on the committee that voted for the MVP, which was Rivera. Mo came over to me during spring training the next season and said, “I was told you were one of the World Series MVP voters,” he said. “I wanted to thank you for your support.”
Rivera has been saying all season that 602 is merely a number and that it won’t change him. Good. It would be unfathomable for Mariano Rivera to be anything but what he is, baseball’s ultimate class act.
The Yankees wheezed their way to the end of a 4-city, 11-day, 10-game trip through Baltimore, Anaheim, Seattle and Toronto and were lifeless in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The Yanks were 4-6 on the arduous trip with four walk-off losses but had a couple of highlights with Mariano Rivera earning career saves Nos. 600 and 601 to tie Trevor Hoffman’s major-league record.
Mo can try to make the record his own at Yankee Stadium where the Yankees will play eight games over the next seven days on the last regular-season homestand of the season. To say it will be good to get home is a major understatement.
With the Rays continuing to encroach on the Red Sox’ lead in the wild-card race and pushing Boston 4 ½ games behind the Yankees in the American League East, manager Joe Girardi had the opportunity to rest some players Sunday, which he did by giving three regulars the day off. Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira weren’t even used in pinch-hit situations as the Yankees went down meekly to Brandon Morrow, who pitched eighth brilliant innings, and Frank Francisco, who worked the ninth for his 16th save.
Against Morrow, the Yankees scratched out only four hits – three of them in the infield – and a walk while striking out eight times. Eduardo Nunez, who played second base as Robinson Cano was the designated hitter, had three hits, including a double off Francisco in the ninth, but was thrown out on the bases trying to stretch his second hit into a double. Nunez was the only one of the Yankees to get to second base, which he did twice.
Freddy Garcia had his third straight poor outing and was undone by two home runs from Adam Lind, who had a monster series (6-for-12, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 5 RBI, 3 runs). Garcia did not get through the fifth inning. He has allowed 15 earned runs and 21 hits, including six homers, in 12 1/3 innings (10.95 ERA) over his past three starts in which his season ERA has swollen from 3.09 to 3.77.
Garcia’s early exit allowed Girardi the chances to see some relievers who are auditioning for postseason roster spots. The most impressive was lefthander Raul Valdes, who began the year with the Cardinals and was claimed off waivers by the Yankees Aug. 16 and pitched at Double A Trenton. He entered the game in the sixth with one out, the bases full and Lind at bat. Valdes got him looking at a third strike and retired Edwin Encarnacion on a ground ball to end the threat. It was one bright spot in a gloomy day for the Yankees.
What a terrific game to be the one in which Mariano Rivera tied the career record for saves. After four innings, it would have been hard to predict that Mo would even get into the game because the Yankees appeared buried as they trailed, 6-1, behind a shaky Bartolo Colon, who was scorched for six earned runs and seven hits.
Considering the state of the Yankees’ offense on this trip, a comeback seemed unlikely. The Yankees entered Saturday’s game at Toronto batting .200 in 265 at-bats and averaging 3.5 runs per game on the trip in which they had lost five of eight games. But after the roaring comeback sparked by the power of Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson and supplemented by the hitless work of five relievers, the Yankees have a chance to play .500 on a ragged trip that ends Sunday.
Rivera’s wife Clara and sons Mariano Jr., Jafet and Jaziel were in the crowd of 39,288 at Rogers Centre cheering him on as he bore down for his 42nd save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth that brought his career total to 601, tying him with Trevor Hoffman for the all-time record. One more save, perhaps Sunday or even better when the team returns to Yankee Stadium Monday, and Mo will have no rivals as baseball’s saves master.
Rivera is already acknowledged as the game’s greatest closer. That saves total does not include the 42 he has recorded in postseason play, which is at the core of his legacy. Watching him after the last out as he walked off the mound and toward the center fielder, Granderson, who put away the 27th out and hit a home run that gave the Yankees the lead, gave one a glance at a professional in action, the game’s classiest act.
Later in talking to reporters, Rivera spoke more about the comeback his teammates staged that put him in position to get the save. To Mo, the most important thing about notching a save is that it means his team has won the game.
I had pointed out Friday night that the Yankees, who have had four walk-off losses on the trip, needed to reverse the trend of one-run losses. Saturday’s 7-6 victory was a start. They are now 21-23 in one-run games, including 9-14 on the road. In addition, they kept up their dominance in day games with a 40-11 mark.
Rodriguez was back in the lineup after eight games on the shelf nursing a sprained left thumb. He was not in his familiar cleanup spot but in the 5-hole, the first time he has batted there in five years. Yankees manager Joe Girardi kept Robinson Cano in the cleanup spot where he has done superbly in A-Rod’s absence, although the All-Star second baseman had a strange day Saturday.
The Yankees needed a good dose of Alex, and he did not disappoint. Batting with a split-hand grip with tape on the bat between his hands to protect the thumb, Rodriguez lashed a single his first time up. He hit the ball hard again in his second at-bat but grounded out. Then in the fifth, he bashed the first pitch from Henderson Alvarez over the left field wall for his 16th home run, a three-run shot that got the Yankees to 6-5.
The Yankees were now in a game in which they had botched earlier chances to score. Cano made his second base-running blunder of the trip by passing Mark Teixeira at third base that resulted in a rally-killing double play after a sensational catch on the center field track by Colby Rasmus of a drive by Nick Swisher. The Yankees settled for one run that inning on a Cano sacrifice fly but failed to take advantage of an error by left fielder Adam Loewen that seemed to have opened the door for them. The next inning, Brett Gardner tripled with one down but was stranded.
Granderson, who had a perfect day (3-for-3, 2 walks, 2 RBI, 3 runs) jump-started the Yanks in the sixth with a leadoff double. Curtis has had a rough September, batting .189 this month and .133 on the trip entering play Saturday watching his average drop to .264 and his Most Valuable Player aspirations sink as well.
Perhaps Granderson started turning things around with this game. He scored on a throwing error by Rasmus off a single by Teixeira. Alvarez was coming apart at this point. He hit Cano with a pitch before serving up a first-pitch fastball to A-Rod, who scalded it for his 629th career homer, one behind fifth-place Ken Griffey Jr. on the all-time list.
Carlos Villanueva took over in the seventh, and the Yankees didn’t waste any time jumping on him. Derek Jeter beat out an infield hit on one of four ground balls he hit to shortstop in the game and scored on Granderson’s 40th home run, an impressive blow that cleared the center field wall.
While the Yankees were making all this noise, their bullpen kept the Blue Jays quiet. Colon, who remained winless in eight starts since July 30 and is 0-3 with a 4.98 during that stretch, was gone after four innings. Scott Proctor, Adam Laffey, Hector Noesi, Rafael Soriano and Rivera pitched one inning of hitless relief apiece. Soriano struck out the side in the eighth for the second straight game (he did the same Friday night in the seventh inning).
For Rivera, this was a save to be savored.
No 20th victory for CC Sabathia, no record-tying save for Mariano Rivera, and no satisfaction in another one-run game. For the second straight game, the Yankees suffered a last at-bat loss on a game-winning hit off Cory Wade, who had been one of the great additions to the staff this year.
Two nights after giving up a 12th-inning, walk-off home run to the Mariners’ Luis Rodriguez at Seattle, Wade allowed a walk-off single to former Yankees catcher Jose Molina in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 5-4 loss at Toronto. Molina was the only batter Wade faced. The loss was charged to Boone Logan, who got into immediate trouble by yielding a leadoff double to Adam Lind, a left-handed hitter.
Logan has been the main – and for a good part of the season the only – lefthander out of the bullpen for the Yankees, but his success rate against left-handed hitters has not been great. Lefties are batting .268 with 7 doubles, 1 triple and 4 homers in 97 at-bats against Logan, who has given up five hits to the past seven lefty hitters he has faced. He has done better against right-handed hitters, who are batting .246 with 4 extra-base hits, all doubles, in 57 at-bats.
But this game can’t be hung solely on the pen. CC Sabathia couldn’t hang on to a two-run lead provided by Eric Chavez, who started at third base instead of thumb-hurting Alex Rodriguez, who may play Saturday. Chavez’s two-out, two-run home run in the fourth gave Sabathia a 3-1 spread to work with, but the lefthander lost it an inning later when he walked two batters to fill the bases and gave up a three-run double to Lind. The Yankees were able to tie the score to get CC off the hook, but that 20th victory will have to wait at least four more days.
Sabathia had another laborious outing as he threw 120 pitches but failed to complete six innings. Over his past four starts, CC has thrown 478 pitches, and that covers only 25 innings. The Blue Jays repeatedly let him off the hook. They stranded 14 runners, including nine against Sabathia.
Yankees bats also went silent against Toronto’s relief corps. After Nick Swisher tied the score at 4 with a two-out single in the sixth, the Yankees made 10 consecutive outs. They could not push across that run that would give Rivera a chance for his 601st save to tie Trevor Hofffman’s career record.
Rafael Soriano struck out the side in the seventh, and David Robertson pulled another Houdini act by getting himself in trouble by loading the bases in the eighth only to come away unharmed.
The Yankees are having a terrific season with the best record in the American League and a 3 ½-game lead over the Red Sox in their division, but one disturbing aspect is their record in one-run games, which are becoming more frequent of late. Their past three games, eight of 11 and nine of 14 have been decided by one run. Six of the eight games on this trip have been one-run games. The Yankees are 3-3 in those games but 20-23 overall this season, including 8-14 on the road.
It is a trend in need of reversal.
Oh, those nice round numbers in baseball – 3,000 hits, 500 home runs, 300 victories, 3,000 strikeouts.
But 600 saves?
It remains to be seen whether the 600-save plateau for relief pitchers will ever be viewed as the equivalent of 300 victories for a starter. The save statistic have always been a debated issue, but somehow I feel that now that Mariano Rivera has hit that number, 600 will forever be considered a major milestone in the game.
Mo is only the second pitcher to get there. The other, Trevor Hoffman, is merely one save ahead of him. Not to take anything away from Hoffman, but the 600-saves achievement became truly legitimized Tuesday night when Rivera got his 41st save in his 41st year on this planet preserving a 3-2 victory for the Yankees and A.J. Burnett, who desperately needed a victory to keep his slim hold on a rotation position.
Rivera’s 600th career save came in a game in which he did record the final out. Ichiro Suzuki tried to steal second base with two out and was cut down by Russell Martin’s throw with the tag applied by Derek Jeter. How appropriate. Jeter has been on the field for nearly all 600 of those saves. The only thing that would have completed the picture was if Jorge Posada had been the catcher.
Rivera really didn’t need to get to 600 saves to be considered the greatest relief pitcher of all time. Remember, that total does not include the 42 saves he notched in postseason play, which is a bit like when Babe Ruth retired with 714 career home runs, not including the 15 he hit in the World Series.
But baseball fans love round numbers. Ask Al Kaline, who finished his career with 399 home runs. Mickey Mantle always said his greatest disappointment was that his career batting average fell below .300 at .298. Early Wynn took forever to get his 300th career victory, but there was no way he could walk away from the game without getting there.
Rivera took the congratulations from his teammates in his usual, cool manner. Just like Jeter, Mo is all about winning, and the most important thing to him about his saves total is that it means he was a part of 600 Yankees victories.
Somewhat obscured by the way the game ended was the start by Burnett, who had a devastating curve that helped him to 11 strikeouts in six innings. Oh, sure, A.J. had his usual control issues (two wild pitches, two hit batters), but he limited the Mariners to two runs and four hits and won for only the second time in 13 starts since June 29. In his previous four starts, Burnett was 0-2 with an 11.00 ERA, so this was a victory he needed and has reason to savor. And years from now he can always say he was the winning pitcher in the game that Rivera scored his 600th save.
The Yankees’ offense was a bit spotty. One of their runs scored on a wild pitch. Robinson Cano drove in the other two with his 26th home run and a fielder’s choice to run his RBI total to 111, tying Curtis Granderson for the team lead and continuing to make the American League Most Valuable Player situation a two-man race for the Yankees.
But in the end, it was the end that was the story of the game as a player got to a magic number. The save has only been an official statistic since 1969, which was the year Mariano Rivera was born. There is some mystical symmetry to that.
Bartolo Colon’s return Sunday to Angel Stadium of Anaheim, which was his home base of operation for four seasons (2004-07), was a mixed bag for the Yankees, who ended a successful West Coast trip with a 5-3 victory. They won six of the nine games, a satisfying finish after they had lost the first two games at Seattle.
The first-place Yankees maintained their one-game lead in the American League East over the Red Sox, who come to Yankee Stadium for a three-game series beginning Tuesday night. The Yanks keep avoiding pitchers with back problems. Dan Haren was scratched by the Angels from a scheduled start Saturday night due to back stiffness. The Red Sox will push Clay Buchholz back from Wednesday night to Friday night for the same reason and insert Tim Wakefield. The Yankees will also push back a pitcher, Ivan Nova, who is not hurt, to Friday night so that CC Sabathia can stay on turn and start Wednesday night against Boston.
Colon was lights out for two innings as he retired the Angels in order each time with a total of three strikeouts. He looked as if he would continue the run of scoreless innings he put up in a complete-game shutout on Memorial Day at Oakland.
But typical of teams under the guidance of one of baseball’s sharpest managers, Mike Scioscia, the Angels adjusted to Colon’s aggressiveness by jumping on first-pitch fastballs and other early-count offerings, few of them off-speed, to dent the righthander for two runs in the third that tied the score. A sensational play by second baseman Robinson Cano helped Colon get out of that inning without further damage, and he came right back with a 1-2-3 fourth.
It was almost as if Colon was pitching to the scoreboard. The second of Mark Teixeira’s two home runs regained a two-run lead for the Yankees in the fifth, but Colon gave back another run in the bottom half after two were out. He was in trouble again in the sixth but was saved in part by that rare scene by an Angels player – a dumb move on the bases.
Colon was out of the game by then. David Robertson came on with one out and a runner, Alberto Callaspo, at second base. Mark Trumbo, who had homered in the third off Colon, hit a ground ball to shortstop. Callaspo inexplicably tried to cross to third base, which made no sense because the ball was hit sharply, and was thrown out by Derek Jeter.
Robertson made things interesting after that rally killer by walking two batters to load the bases, but he rebounded big-time by striking out Maicer Izturis on a 2-2 hook. Robertson has held foes scoreless in eight consecutive appearances and has allowed one earned run in 15 outings dating to May 1 in which he has an ERA of 0.64 with 26 strikeouts in 14 innings.
His work was part of an ensemble effort by the Yankees’ bullpen. Joba Chamberlain withstood two singles to keep the Angels off the board for 1 1/3 innings, and Mariano Rivera notched his 16th save by also making two singles in the ninth meaningless. Mo is only the third reliever in history to have 16 or more saves in a season at age 41 or older. The others were Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, who had 30 saves in 1996 and 36 in 1997 for the Cardinals, and all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman, who had 37 in 2009 for the Brewers.
It was a big game for Teixeira, who passed Curtis Granderson for the team lead in home runs, 18-17, and tied him for the club RBI lead with 41. Usually a notoriously slow starter, Tex hit six home runs in March/April and slugged 10 in May, the most in the majors. Five days into June, he already has two.
Nick Swisher hit his third home run of the trip, a solo shot off the right field foul pole, in the eighth that proved a vital insurance run taking some of the heat off Mo in the ninth. Another good sign was a two-hit game for Jorge Posada.
Jeter’s third-inning single pushed him past Hall of Famer Sam Rice into sole possession of 28th place on the career hit list with 2,986. With the Yankees’ next 10 games scheduled at home, can the Captain get to 3,000 at the Stadium?
A Yankee Stadium crowd of 43,201 on a sun-splashed afternoon not only got to see the Yankees win a game against the Blue Jays but also to watch Mariano Rivera step into another level of baseball history. In what was not a save situation but an opportunity to get in some work for the first time in a week, Rivera made the 1,000th appearance of his major-league career and pitched a shutout ninth inning.
Rivera became the 15th pitcher to reach four figures in games – all are pitchers, primarily relievers – but the first to do so with just one team, an extraordinary accomplishment in the free agency era of player movement. His reaction to the milestone was similar to so many of his other reactions – tinged with humility.
“It’s a blessing,” he said. “I mean, when I first started, something like this never crossed my mind. I was just happy to be in the big leagues. This is special, especially to do it with one team, the Yankees, and be able to play with so many great players. They showed a lot of faith in me in the early days. I thank God for his help and the support of my wife and family.”
Mo was quick to point out that he lost the first game he ever pitched for the Yankees, a start May 23 at Anaheim when he gave up five runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings of a 10-0 loss. He also mentioned that he blew two saves in his first week as the team’s closer in 1997, the year after he had been an outstanding setup reliever for John Wetteland, whose pursuit of free agency opened the door for Rivera to begin a run as the greatest closer in baseball.
The Yankees’ catcher in those years was Joe Girardi, now the manager who brought Rivera into Wednesday’s game.
“I reflect on when I first came here in 1996 and caught him in spring training.” Girardi said. “I remember thinking, ‘Who is this kid?’ His stuff was excellent. He threw 97 [mph] and put the ball where he wanted it. He elevated. I was a National Leaguer. I had never heard of him, but I knew this kid was something special. Even before he became the closer, he was special. In those days, if you didn’t get to us by the sixth inning, the game was over.”
Rivera entered games in the seventh inning in 1996. A year later, he took over the ninth and has made that inning his ever since, to the point that when he does blow a save as he did last week at Baltimore it is headline news. Closing relievers are like housekeepers; nobody notices your work unless you don’t do it.
“I was surprised,” Rivera said about being named the Yankees’ closer in ’97. “We had just won the World Series. It was a lot of responsibility, but I took it as a challenge. You have to be proud of what you do.”
Of the other 14 1,000-game pitchers, four have connections with the Yankees, including the all-time leader, Jesse Orosco, who appeared in 1,252 games over four decades and 24 seasons. His best seasons were with the Mets in the 1980s, and Orosco was reunited with former manager Joe Torre with the Yankees in 2003, the lefthander’s final season in the majors.
Second to Orosco on the list is another lefthander, Mike Stanton, with 1,178 games. Stanton was an integral part of the Yanks’ bullpen from 1997 through 2002 and a portion of the 2005 season. Lee Smith, who held the saves record before Trevor Hoffman broke it, is tied with Jose Mesa for 10th place on the list with 1,022 games, eight of which were with the Yankees at the tail end of the 1993 season.
The most prominent former Yankees reliever on the list is Goose Gossage, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2008. Goose was the Yankees’ closer from 1978 through ’83 and came back to pitch for them briefly (11 games) in 1989. He ranks 14th with 1,002 games.
What those who pitched for the Yankees save Rivera have in common with nearly everyone else on the list is that they wore quite a few different uniforms. Orosco and Gossage pitched for nine teams apiece, Stanton and Smith eight each.
The least traveled 1,000-game pitchers prior to Rivera were John Franco, Kent Tekulve and Hoffman, each of whom who played for only three teams. Franco is third on the list with 1,119 games, Tekulve eighth with 1,050 and Hoffman ninth with 1,035.
The other pitchers to appear in more than 1,000 games with the number of their teams in parentheses were fourth-place Dennis Eckersley (5) with 1,071 games; fifth-place Hoyt Wilhelm (9) with 1,090; sixth-place Dan Plesac (6) with 1,064; seventh-place Mike Timlin (6) with 1,058; 10th-place Mesa (8) with 1,022, tied with Smith; 12th-place Roberto Hernandez (10) with 1,010 and 13th-place Mike Jackson (9) with 1,005.
Eckersley, Wilhelm and Gossage are the only Hall of Famers on the 1,000-game list. Wilhelm was elected in 1985 and Eckersley in 2004. Hoffman retired this year and won’t be eligible for the ballot until 2016. Rivera, of course, is still active – very much so.