The 2009 Yankees were a powerhouse team with a great offense and rotation, but who were the three best bullpen arms during the postseason?
It’s crazy that it has been 11 years since the Yankees last won the World Series. That teams’ strength was undoubtedly its offense. The ’09 Yankees featured one of, if not, the best infield of all time. The starting rotation was strong as well and they went with a three-man rotation in the postseason. There was one aspect of that team that was very underrated. The bullpen. Let’s take a look at the three best bullpen arms during the postseason run.
This one is pretty much a given, the greatest closer of all time. The greatest postseason pitcher of all time. I can go on for days. Mariano Rivera was absolute lights out in the 2009 postseason. In the ALDS, he did not allow a single run in 3.2 innings and struck out 7 batters. It had been two years since Mo last pitched in the postseason and he looked like his vintage self.
In the ALCS, he would throw a total of seven innings and would allow one run. He would strike out four Angels in that series and one of them was the series-winning strikeout that sent the Yankees to the World Series.
Rivera would see his first action in Game Two. He would come in for A.J Burnett in the 8th and would end up converting the two-inning save to tie the series up at one. Mo would also get the final two outs of Game Three, saving a struggling Phil Hughes. Game Four was no different, as Mo was called on to close it out in the 9th and give the Yankees a 3-1 series lead.
The Phillies would take Game Five and send it back to the Bronx for Game Six. The Yankees would have the lead the entire game and Mo would be called upon in the 8th. He finished the job, as in the 9th with two outs would get Victorino to groundout. Mariano was as advertised, lights out in the postseason.