Countdown to Spring Training: 34

Continuing our countdown today, we'll be jumping into the Way Back Machine and travelling all the way to...2006. What happened with the number 34 in 2006? Well, one Mariano Rivera saved 34 games. Let's briefly review Mo's 2006. He tallied a 1.80 ERA, tied (with 2010) for the fifth best mark of his career. in terms of ERA+, Mo was at 252, one of his six seasons with an ERA+ of 250 or higher. His .960 WHIP--which any pitcher would kill for--is middling for Mo's career. His K/BB was a sparkling 5.00, but like the WHIP, it's middle of the road for Mo. Doing his usual Mo thing, he walked just 1.3 per nine innings, the third best mark of his career (bested by 1.2 in 2011 and 0.8 in 2008). Mo held batters to a .522 OPS, including a .456 against lefties. Shocking. He started off slowly, with two losses and a 3.72 ERA in April. From May on, he was his normal self, pitching to a .542 OPS against and a 1.52 ERA. Ho hum.

All in all, it was a pretty typical year for Mariano Rivera.