2014 Wade Davis vs. Mariano Rivera's career bests

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

This seems like a feeble exercise. Wade Davis was stupid good last season, so I want to compare Wade Davis's ridiculous 2014 season stats with the best version of those stats that Mariano Rivera ever compiled. I figure it'd be fun to see how much room for growth Wade had before he could stand next to the greatest relief pitcher that has ever pitched (according to some). Keep in mind that not only was Mariano Rivera one of the most unhittable pitchers who has ever graced the diamond, but that he did it for 19 freaking years! Other than 1995, when he started 10 games and pitched 67 innings, 1996 when he spent the year being awesome in the bullpen, but not closing, and pitched 107 innings, and 2012 when he pitched 8.1 innings before leaving Kauffman Stadium with a gruesome knee ligament injury, the other 16 years of his career were spent in high leverage situations, closing games for the Yankees and being Mo The Untouchable. He spent enough time on the DL in 2002 that I threw out his numbers from that year too, as he was off and on the DL all season and only pitched around 40 innings.

So, the big question. Can Wade Davis's 2014 numbers compare with any of Mo's career highs?

Actually, they are more than comparable. They are favorable in all areas except walk rate. Observe:

Davis '14 9 2 1.00 72.0 38 8 8 0 23 109 3 403 1.19 0.847 4.8 0.0 2.9 13.6 4.74
Mo's Best 7 0 1.38 80.2 39 11 11 2 6 83 0 316 2.03 0.665 5.2 0.2 0.8 9.8 12.83
Mo Year 2005 1998 2005 2001 2010 2008 2008 2005 2008 2001 2000 2008 2008 2008 2008 2005 2008 2008 2008

Ridiculous. Other than walks, where Mariano has been in absolute control, including his 2008 where he walked SIX batters in 70.2 innings, Wade was harder to hit. He allowed less hits, less runs, struck out more batters, and had almost half of Mo's best FIP. He had a year that Mariano Rivera not only never matched in a single season, but he never matched those stats once in 15 full seasons of being the best closer in the game.

Wade Davis, how did you do it? The envy of Mariano Rivera. Who would have thought...

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