Originally written on Lady At The Bat  |  Last updated 11/14/14

21 Oct 1998: Pitcher Mariano Rivera #42 and catcher Joe Girardi #25 of the New York Yankees celebrate following the 1998 World Series Game 4 against the San Diego Padres at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Yankees defeated the Padres 3-0.
The Yankees Sunday afternoon loss to the Baltimore Orioles felt like a big deal. With Mariano Rivera on the mound after 7.0 strong shutout innings from a thankfully healthy Hiroki Kuroda, it felt like a sweep was inevitable. The standings were already recalculated in Yankees fans heads with the Yankees pulling 1.5 games ahead of the Orioles and remaining in a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays. Then, with one swing from Adam Jones, we were reminded that even the mighty Mariano is mortal. It was shocking and, rather than celebrating a sweep and a tie for second place, the Yankees instead found themselves back in fourth place. It was a tough emotional loss. In hindsight, however, it's not so bad. Sweeping any team, even the terrible ones, is a tough feat. Instead the goal is to win series. If a team won every series they played in a full season that would be at least a 108 win season, well above the range needed to make the playoffs, better than most teams could possibly dream. So ...
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