It has been said by smarter people than I that the single biggest reason for the NY Yankees’ post-season success since the mid-1990′s is the pitching of Mariano Rivera. Already a sure-fire Hall of Famer, Rivera’s performance over 88 post-season games is astounding. Last week, the NY Times published an article examining Rivera’s future. The piece was accompanied by a wonderful infographic that displayed his post-season history batter-by-batter.
What jumped out at me was the number of times Rivera pitched in more than 2 innings*: 52 out of 88. In this day and age where closing has become even more specialized and pitchers in this role rarely throw in more than one inning, Rivera took the rubber in multiple innings almost 60% of the time. This included a three inning, nine out performance against the Boston Red Sox in game 7 of the 2003 ALCS (the famous Grady Little game).
*By innings I mean separate half innings–innings here does not mean that Rivera needed to get 3 outs each time he took the mound.
(Via Nate at FlowingData)