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Quintessential Mo-Ments No. 32: One for the thumb

09/20/2013 9:04 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

He didn't factor in the decision, but Mo was on the mound when he and The Captain got "one for the thumb."(AP)
Mariano Rivera pitched 16 innings over 12 appearances and recorded five saves in the 2009 postseason, but if you ask any Yankees fan, they’re likely to tell you Mo’s most important five outs came in a non-save situation.

With one out in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the World Series and the Yankees holding a 7-3 lead, Joe Girardi once again took no chances and called on “The Sandman” to put Philly’s hopes of back-to-back titles to sleep for good.

It was another gutsy performance for a man who wasn’t perfect but always found a way to get the job done – and on his 41st pitch of the night, the near-40-year-old induced a grounder off the bat of Shane Victorino that set off fireworks in the Bronx.

The box score didn’t factor him into the decision, but it was fitting that for the fourth time in a row, it was Rivera who was on the mound when the Yankees became champions of baseball and the man who gave the "Core Four" their fifth ring total – one for the thumb, indeed.

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