By Sweeny Murti
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Here’s the great thing about Mariano Rivera—he’s just as smooth, dominant and efficient in spring training as he is when the games count.

From 2006-2011, Rivera appeared in 44 official exhibition games, pitched 43 1/3 innings, allowed just 19 hits (.130 OBA) and 5 walks (0.55 WHIP), gave up only 2 earned runs (0.42 ERA), and struck out 54 (11.2 K/9 inn).

Even in practice, Mo is sensational.

Rivera’s 2012 spring debut was a 1-2-3 inning against the Phillies Sunday in Tampa. I had the over/under at 9 pitches. He threw 14. Darn that Luis Montanez and his 10-pitch at-bat!

This followed CC Sabathia’s three scoreless innings, so all in all it was a good day for the Yanks’ two best pitchers. So that made it a good day for catcher Russell Martin too.

Granted, the Yankees don’t have a lot of question marks coming into spring training, no real positional battles just some jockeying for position in the starting rotation and a few “Will they stay healthy?” concerns.

But on days when CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera both pitch in the game, very little can go wrong.

Rivera summed it up best. “Just trying to get people out, and go home,” said the GOAT.


Sweeny Murti

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