One of the great cliches of baseball: Every team (except such as the '62 Mets) will win 54 games in a single season. Every team (except such as the '98 Yankees) will lose 54 games in a single season.
Baseball comes down to those other 54 games.
Slide this one into column number three, boys.
Mariano Rivera blows a save--his era skyrockets to 1.11. And they win.
And Brett Gardner could have busted it out faster, but hey. There are inside-the-park homers. And then there are standing inside-the-park homers. Had Manny Ramirez hit that ball that Wise played into a (let's be fair here) four-base error, Torre and Mattingly would be shoving Manny out of the dugout as the ball rolled to the wall, hoping he reached to first and doesn't erase the single run scoring from second.
500 at-bats per season. Let's say you strike out a hundred times. You hit, say, 35 atom-balls, line-drives that are caught in the first second or two. Over 25 weeks, that leaves 14.48 times per week you put the ball in play--a little more than twice a day you're asked to run ninety feet. Baseball is making Phil Mushnicks out of all of us.