Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Closer troubles make you appreciate Mo

Brad Lidge's struggles closing games this year, culminating in a benching by Charlie Manuel in a Game 5 save situation, really does make you appreciate Mariano Rivera's lasting brilliance.
Even with a 3-run lead, Manuel wanted no part of Lidge pitching the 9th inning. He brought in Ryan Madson, who gave up a run before closing out the game.
Lidge, Joe Nathan, Brian Fuentes: all closers who have been hit hard during the postseason by the Yankees. Yes, the Yankees have a good lineup, but their inability to close out games makes Yankee fans incredibly grateful to have Mo on our side.
One of the few positives of Game 5 was that Mo did not pitch, giving him two days off before Wednesday's Game 6. Mo is probably quite fatigued with all the innings he's pitched this postseason and fighting a bit of a cold, but he's continued to battle through and get out after out. It makes you wonder why Mo can close out game after game at less than 100% while younger pitchers, including those who are supposed to be setting him up, continue to struggle in the playoffs. Phil Coke became the latest Yankee reliever to wilt in the spotlight, giving up what proved to be the winning run.

It will be a sad day in Yankee land when Mo decides to retire. Hopefully, that day is years away because the Yankees are clearly not even close to being ready for life without Mo.

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