Continued from page 2

There is no equal.

“It’s a huge psychological advantage when you’ve got a guy like Mariano and a great setup corps,” Gossage said, “to know that it’s a six-inning ballgame. You’ve got the lead, and it’s over.”

In the 2009 postseason, Boston’s Jonathan Papelbon, Minnesota’s Joe Nathan, the Angels’ Brian Fuentes, Colorado’s Huston Street, the Cardinals’ Ryan Franklin and the Dodgers’ Jonathan Broxton all blew save chances.


He went 5 for 5. Philadelphia’s Brad Lidge, with three saves, was the only other closer without a blemish.

“That is so incredible. To be able to do it at that level, with that pressure. Try to do it in that environment, in New York, with them expecting to go to the playoffs every year,” Eckerlsey said. “He’s made differently. There’s a calm to him. And because of that, there’s a calm to the team.”