42 For 42: Mariano Rivera’s 30th Greatest Moment – Mo Gets First Career Win As Starter In 1995
Before becoming the greatest closer of all time and “The Hammer Of God,” Mariano Rivera was a starter looking to lock teams down at the beginning of games. The number 30 moment of our countdown comes from 1995, when he saw his first success as a Major League starter, getting his first win against the Oakland Athletics.
Rivera went 5.1 innings, which somehow means five and one third despite being written as though it means five and one tenth. Regardless, he scattered seven hits through that time, allowing one earned run in a 4-1 Yankees victory.
Interesting in the win was the fact that the only run Rivera conceded in the game was driven in on a Scott Brosius RBI double. Brosius, as we all know, would later go on to help Rivera and the Yankees win championships in 1998, 1999 and 2000 as an integral part of their lineup.
In typical Mariano Rivera fashion, he only had one strikeout, relying on his ability to pitch to contact to force hitters to put the ball in play, without allowing them to get good contact on it.
Although he didn’t remain a starter long after the 1995 season, we’d say things worked out for Rivera and the Yankees.