• Phils On To Mo’s “M.O.”?

    Posted by on October 31st, 2009 · Comments (6)

    Via Jayson Stark -

    The Phillies didn’t beat Mariano Rivera in Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night. Heck, they didn’t even score on him.

    But they did make Rivera sweat through 39 pitches — the most he’d thrown in any outing, regular season or postseason, since May 6, 2005 (336 outings ago) and the most he’d tossed in a postseason game since his infamous blown save in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series.

    And afterward, Jimmy Rollins said something — almost in passing — that we should all keep in mind the next time we hear the dulcet strains of “Enter Sandman” and the Great Mariano bursts through the bullpen gates:

    “I think we saw some things,” Rollins said.

    Now if there’s a secret to hitting Mariano Rivera, it’s definitely news to the rest of the population. But here’s the full context of exactly what Rollins said:

    Asked if it was any kind of benefit to have seen Rivera for two full innings, in which he faced everyone in the Phillies’ lineup except Pedro Feliz, Rollins replied: “We felt pretty good up there, and that’s always the question mark: What is he going to look like? And I think we saw some things.”

    So what kind of things? That’s the question.

    “Now you have a game plan,” said Rollins, who worked an 11-pitch walk against Rivera in the eighth. “We didn’t really see Mariano during the season. Spring training, he comes in [when] I’m out of the game. So it’s a mystery.

    “Like we know what he’s going to do. It’s no surprise. But when you see him, you figure out how much his ball is moving. Once you find your approach, you’ve got to be stubborn with it, because he’s going to be stubborn with what he’s going to do to you.”

    That 8th inning in Game Two was concerning. Given the sorry state of the Yankees “Bridge to Mo,” if Mariano is not going to be über-effective against the Phils, the Yankees could be looking at some big problems late in these Series games.

    Comments on Phils On To Mo’s “M.O.”?

    1. JeremyM
      October 31st, 2009 | 2:39 pm

      The Phillies sure like to talk, don’t they?

    2. g1ph7
      October 31st, 2009 | 3:19 pm

      I wouldn’t really worry about this. The Red Sox have seen Mo how many times over the past 15 years? Same goes with the Blue Jays, O’s, Rays, etc. So after 39 or so pitches the Phils think they have solved the eternal mystery? Highly unlikely, this just provides Mo with more fuel.

    3. MJ
      October 31st, 2009 | 3:19 pm

      JeremyM wrote:

      The Phillies sure like to talk, don’t they?

      Especially Rollins. I hate to say it, but I can see why Mets fans despise that team in general and him in particular.

      The nice thing is that if there’s one guy that isn’t phased by loudmouths like Rollins, it’s Mo Rivera.

      Also, not for nothing but considering Rivera has thrown one pitch for his entire career as a reliever (14 years now), if you HAVEN’T seen something yet, you’re not paying attention. It’s no big mystery how Rivera’s going to attack you as a hitter. He’s just going to throw that same pitch over and over. More times than not, you can’t do a goddamn thing about it. But nice of you to speak your mind, Jimmy. Now shut the fuck up.

    4. g1ph7
      October 31st, 2009 | 3:30 pm

      @MJ

      Amen Brother

    5. Evan3457
      October 31st, 2009 | 5:16 pm

      Mo will throw his cutter, and we’ll soon see if the Phillies are able to do anything significant with it.

      They’re an outstanding lineup, so they may be able to.

      The other half of “maybe” is “maybe not”.

    6. ken
      October 31st, 2009 | 5:25 pm

      There may have been no better hitting team over the last 5 yrs than the Red Sox. Although they may have gotten to him a few times, they never ‘figured him out’. I’m not worried at all. In fact, let their overconfidence come back to bite them in the ass.

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