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Mariano Rivera on strike

Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera reacts during the

Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera reacts during the ninth inning against the Twins at Yankee Stadium. Rivera pitched a scoreless inning to get the save. (Apr. 4, 2011) Photo Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

Statistics through three games mean very little, we know. But watching Mariano Rivera close out Monday night's 4-3 win over the Twins at the Stadium got us thinking.

His first 10 pitches were all strikes, and 12 of his 14 overall pitches were strikes (including a close one on pitch 13 that was called a ball for being low).

Have a look at Rivera's balls and strikes ratio over his first three appearances in each of the past five seasons.

YEAR TOTAL PITCHES STRIKES BALLS PCT.
2011 29 24 5 82.8
2010 44 32 12 72.7
2009 41 28 13 68.3
2008 37 26 11 70.3
2007 39 27 12 69.2

And just for comparison's sake, here's how Rivera finished the past four seasons, percentage-wise.

YEAR PCT.
2010 65.9
2009 66.9
2008 69.0
2007 69.8

 

Again, what does this all mean in the grand scheme of the 2011 season? Not much yet, but it's something to watch for when Rivera comes in to pitch. It's either that or count the number of bats he breaks.

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