The following is not mathematically rigorous, since the events of yesterday evening were contingent upon one another in various ways. But just for fun, let’s put all of them together in sequence:
— The Red Sox had just a 0.3 percent chance of failing to make the playoffs on Sept. 3.
— The Rays had just a 0.3 percent chance of coming back after trailing 7-0 with two innings to play.
— The Red Sox had only about a 2 percent chance of losing their game against Baltimore, when the Orioles were down to their last strike.
— The Rays had about a 2 percent chance of winning in the bottom of the 9th, with Johnson also down to his last strike.
Multiply those four probabilities together, and you get a combined probability of about one chance in 278 million of all these events coming together in quite this way.
When confronted with numbers like these, you have to start to ask a few questions, statistical and existential.”
The Excellence of Rivera (Mariano Rivera, 2008-2011.)
Mariano Rivera (NYA) reached a milestone Wednesday afternoon as he pitched in his 1000th game, 990 of them in relief. At seasonal age 41, the Yankees closer continues to impress. With a 1.71 ERA he’s going for his fourth straight season with an ERA under 2.00. If he succeeds, it would he his eleventh such season in his career. The current streak of sub-two ERAs coincides with the PITCHf/x era. The following graph sums up Rivera’s dominance in that time quite well.
The first thing to notice is that Mariano uses one pitch, a cut fastball thrown between 90 and 94 miles per hour. There’s nothing soft, no off speed pitch to fool the batters. The cutter does it well all by itself.
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