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Quintessential Mo-Ments No. 13: Holding down the fort

09/01/2013 9:04 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

One thing that helped Mariano Rivera become so great was that Joe Torre always knew exactly how to deploy him.(AP)
Early in his career, Rivera mastered the art of being dominant for multiple innings, and that mastery paid off in the first-ever postseason meeting between his team and their most hated rival.

It was Game 1 of the 1999 American League Championship Series, and the Yankees and Red Sox were tied 3-3 after eight innings in the Bronx. With any chance for a save gone, Joe Torre instead turned to Mo to hold down the fort as the Yankees tried for a walk-off…and his hunch was rewarded.

Rivera easily mowed down the Sox, going six up and six down in his two frames, and his performance was paid off when Bernie Williams parked a Rod Beck offering into the seats in the bottom of the10th for a walk-off homer.

Rivera ended that series with a win, two saves, and a 0.00 ERA, and the Yankees buzzed to their second straight AL pennant and World Series title shortly thereafter.

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