Gold Nuggets – Facing Mariano Rivera
Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. In this installment Aaron talks to Kyle Seager about facing Yankees closer (and future Hall of Famer) Mariano Rivera.
Tuesday night in the Bronx, Mariano Rivera earned his 16th save of the season — and the 624th of his legendary career.
His very first save came way back on May 17, 1996 versus the California Angels. Fast forward to September 13, 2011 and that’s where Kyle Seager come in.
“I’m on the highlight reel,” Seager said with a sigh. “I struck out for his 600th career save.”
Monday night Rivera got the best of the Mariners third baseman once again, as Seager flew out to center field to begin the ninth inning. Of course, Rivera gets nearly everyone out and he does it with virtually only one pitch: the cutter.
“You know it’s coming and you really almost have to reverse your mindset at the plate,” Seager said from his locker.
“If, out of his hand, the pitch looks like a strike, it’ll probably come in and jam you, as a left-handed hitter. You really need to jump on the pitches that look like they’ll be outside of the zone. Those are almost the only ones you can hit.”
Rivera is 16-for-16 in save opportunities this year, the second-longest save streak to start a season in his career (2008: 28 consecutive saves). No matter their approach, opposing batters have almost never been able to figure out what has been nothing more than a four-seam fastball with some natural cut.