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Quintessential Mo-Ments No. 12: One small step for Mo...

08/31/2013 9:04 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Almost a calendar year of perfection? Par for the course for Mariano Rivera.(AP)
On the 30th anniversary of man's first walk on the moon, Mariano Rivera took one small step on the mound that ended up beginning an epic streak for closer-kind.

Four days after blowing a save against Atlanta - and two days after watching David Cone throw a perfect game - Rivera worked a perfect ninth against the Expos, striking out two along the way to earn his 24th save of the year.

Seems to be nothing special, right? Well, maybe in the short term, but would be nearly nine calendar months before Rivera would record another "negative" decision; he converted 21 more saves with two wins over the remainder of 1999, was 1-0 with six saves in that postseason, and was 1-0 with five saves in 2000 before he finally blew his next chance.

Of course, it probably helped that the Yankees went 80-16 between those two blown saves, but we'll let Mo take the credit for this one.

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