The Yankees lost to the Rays last night, at home, 8-3 (and the Indians won, too). That means for only the second time in 19 years, the Yankees will not participate in the playoffs, and their season will be over come the end of September. That’s a sad reality for Yankees fans to swallow, but the fact that Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera won’t pitch in the playoffs before retirement is a bummer for all fans of the game.
Like them or not (and it’s possible that you like Mariano Rivera, a class act all the way through, slightly more than Andy Pettitte, who has that HGH blemish on his record), these were two of the best to ever pitch in October. You could make the argument that as a starter and reliever, they’re the greatest 1-2 playoff punch ever.
Rivera and Pettitte have a combined 10 World Series rings (all of which they won together), and they were individually dominant: Pettitte has the most playoff wins of all-time with 19; Rivera has the lowest postseason ERA at 0.70 and the most postseason saves with… 42.
It’s fitting that they’ll go out together, as it almost ended much differently. Pettitte retired in 2011 but came back after a year away, and Rivera might have retired last year had he not torn his ACL shagging fly balls early in the year. What’s not fitting is that as successful as they were in the regular season, these guys made their bones pitching well into the playoffs and winning rings. That they won’t have that chance this year, their final year, marks a sad ending for their careers, and an even sadder outlook for the Yankees organization, which will be without two all-time greats in 2014. Derek Jeter is all that’s left of a once-great dynasty. Weird.
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