"A little help from the Lord" was the way Rivera described his effort early this morning, when he recovered from a bases-loaded, no-outs jam to preserve the Yankees' 6-5 win in 10 innings.

"Nothing is that easy, but you just trust," Rivera said.

And, in that quote, is one of the reasons why Rivera is revered. Closers are fickle; so are their fans, who want a guy to come in and shut the door, quickly and firmly. Closers have to exude confidence, but Rivera always comes off as humble, admitting to his very rare mistakes and never gloating in his successes, year after year.

He did create the small mess in Phoenix, albeit with a broken-bat single and an intentional walk sandwiched around a bad pitch to Justin Upton that went for a double.

But Rivera doesn't melt down. Being back at the scene of his most public failure, Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, he didn't flinch.

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If Francisco Rodriguez had made such a mess and cleaned it up, Mets fans would be wringing their hands.

Yankees fans instead hail their savior, the best who's ever been a closer.